Robert Williams wants to shake his “Ebby Calvin ‘Nuke’ LaLoosh” reputation — a million dollar arm (game) and a five-cent head. He wants to prove wrong those that said he is not mature, has a low motor, and deserved to fall all the way down to No. 27 in the NBA Draft despite top-10 talent. Boston’s head man Danny Ainge has Williams’ back.
But Williams is making that hard to do.
First, he overslept and was an hour late to his phoned-in introductory conference call.
Now this — Williams missed a flight to make his first Summer League practice, via A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston.
After oversleeping which delayed his introductory conference call on June 22, Williams was a no-show at practice on Sunday after missing his flight.
“Everyone’s disappointed,” said Celtics summer league coach Jay Larranaga following a 2 ½ hour practice. “You want to get off to a good start the first day. We’ll handle that internally and move forward.”
Disappointed is kind.
Plenty of players who had character red flags heading into the draft have lived “up” to those concerns before, but has any done it as fast as Williams?
It’s far too early to write Williams off. He’ll get more chances. And, since the Celtics drafted him at No. 27 (a position where teams just hope a player might develop into part of the rotation in a few years), there is not a lot lost if it doesn’t work out. This was a low risk, high reward pick.
So far, however, it’s been about the risk. Williams is not changing the narrative about him. In the least.