After a rocky start, 2018 first-round pick Robert Williams has put himself back on track with the Celtics.
That’s because Williams could not have had a worse start to his Celtics tenure. Across the board.
Beyond a misunderstanding of timezones that led to a missed conference call but before a missed flight back to Boston, the 20-year-old big man lost his wallet somewhere in Boston. As detailed by MassLive’s Tom Westerholm, Williams’ missing wallet forced Celtic staffers to frantically search the area while Williams participated in a charity event. Williams then realized he left the wallet at his hotel, and team staffers ultimately found the wallet in time for Williams to make his flight back home.
But a day later — and before a flight back to Boston for the start of Summer League play — Williams again lost his wallet.
This is almost impossible to imagine, I know, but this is something that Williams himself told Westerholm. And just like the first time in Boston, Williams said he knew where it was. D.J. Hogg, a teammate of Williams at Texas A&M and currently with the Pelicans, had it (for some reason). But Hogg was already hours away and didn’t have the money to ship it to Williams.
So Williams was forced to try to get onto his flight to Boston without his ID.
“It was like almost morning, close to the flight, just getting everything ready, putting everything by the door, and I’m like ‘(Expletive), I ain’t got my ID,'” Williams, who ultimately got his wallet back from Hogg in Las Vegas, told Westerholm. “I’m like, ‘Cool, they’ll let me through.’ I kept telling myself that. And then a couple of my homeboys was like ‘Bro, like, that (expletive) is gonna be tough. They’re not gonna just let you through.’ But I got through.”
Williams got through, sure, but ultimately missed his flight.
So, to recap: Williams missed his introductory conference call with the media because he thought it was an hour behind or ahead. He then lost his wallet upon his arrival in Boston, and found it with just enough time to catch his flight back home. Then, home for barely 48 hours, the 20-year-old somehow lost it again and then missed his flight back to Boston. And after what you have to think was a you-don’t-get-a-billion-chances scolding from the Celtic organization, the C’s have assigned G-League coach Alex Barlow to essentially be Williams’ personal coach. That’s because the Celts clearly — and probably not incorrectly — think that they need to help teach Williams how to be an adult in the National Basketball Association.
This was just an impossibly bad start to a professional career, and human error aside, likely played a reason in why the ultra-talented Williams fell so far down the draft board and to the Celtics in the first place.
But fortunately — and even with Williams currently out with a knee injury — things seem to be the upswing for both parties.
Williams even joked about his wallet issues, saying he needs to glue it to his phone.