I know the name Rick Pitino does not elicit great feelings in the greater Boston area, especially when it comes to the basketball court. That being said, he is still a hell of a college coach at Louisville, and has had quite a few talented players roll through his coaching system. So please resist the urge to throw out Pitino’s comments about former Cardinal Terrence Williams, and just imagine it came from the mouths of Tom Izzo, Jim Boeheim, Roy Williams, or the like (via The Boston Herald):
“He’s got a very, very high basketball IQ,” said Pitino. “T-Will’s a very smart basketball player. If Doc (Rivers) tells him to do something, he’ll understand everything about the play and how it sets up. He’s very good in film; he knows what to do. And there aren’t very many athletes I’ve coached in my life as good as him.
“A lot of people just think he’s a freak athlete, but he’s a very, very smart basketball player. He knows how to play the game.
“The reason he was so easy to coach is that he was very, very unselfish. He was always about the team. He liked being in the spotlight, but he didn’t care whether he scored 30 or he scored seven. It was all about winning the game, and whatever you asked him to do, he did it. He was a stat-filler every game — you know, 11 rebounds, 13 points, seven assists, three steals.
Williams’ unselfish nature will likely go a long way in meshing with a team as established as the Celtics. The Celtics have a strict hierarchy of leaders, and being the well-rounded and heady player that T-Will is should help endear him to the guys in green.
Boston is the utility player’s fifth team in four seasons, including a recent departure from Guangdong Southern Tigers in China. Something about adjusting to the NBA game didn’t happen for him, as he was a beast in both the D-league (averaged over a 30, 10, and 10) and college. Hopefully he can rediscover himself in an NBA uniform and help the Celtics by playing winning basketball.
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