Kevin Garnett recently called creating chemistry one of the toughest things to do in basketball, but these Celtics have managed to build an environment in which 15 players care about wins more than anything else. Doc Rivers does not want to threaten that growing bond, which is why he spent additional time investigating Sean Williams’ personality before the Celtics acquired him. (Boston Herald)
“I talked to everyone (from his past). I talked to more than usual, and I told him that’s unusual. I talked to nine coaches, assistant coaches, guys who played with him, because my locker room is unbelievable. I won’t bring in anyone, even for five days, who will upset that. The one thing they all said was he’s not just smart — he’s brilliant smart. But he does dumb things. Just being a ballplayer — that’s what he has to view himself as, and if he can do that, he has a chance.”
The Celtics obviously believe that Williams’ talent — he’s a high-flying big man who can really protect his own basket — is enough to justify the signing, even if the big man’s production has never matched his potential and his rap sheet includes being thrown off Boston College’s hoops team. Rivers said it’s probably Williams’ last chance to make it in the NBA, and hopefully Williams understands what rides on his behavior during the upcoming weeks.
“It’s tough to get a 10-day (contract), it’s tough to get through the reputation that you earned,” said the Celtics coach. “That’s something I always tell the guys. Now you have a chance to earn another one with us. It is tough. It’s tough for us to look at him in a different light than he was in.
“But I give guys chances. I have no problem with that, and I’ve always done it,” he said. “He’ll make the day. It won’t be me. It won’t be Kevin Garnett. He has the talent to be a very good NBA player, and he’s had the talent. Now he has another opportunity. And in a good way this is his last opportunity. I hope he takes advantage of it.”
Williams has always had the talent to succeed in the NBA. He hasn’t done so yet, but the Celtics are hoping this time might be different.