The Boston Celtics had their 2021 media day today, and it featured a lot of telling stories. One of them was C’s big man Rob Williams, as he is ready to build on his breakout 2021 season.
“I’m feeling great health-wise, to be honest,” said Williams. “Downtime is honestly what I needed a little bit to get myself right.”
Williams suffered a series of injuries last year, which included turf toe, a hip injury, knee soreness, and an ankle injury — all of which sidelined him for a number of games. Despite that, he had a career year averaging 8.0 points per outing, while salvaging 1.8 blocks and assists per game across 52 appearances (13 starts) — all of which are career-highs.
“Health-wise, it’s just trusting the team around me — I trust my trainers,” Williams said. “Every time I’ve went through something they got me back to where I needed to be, thankfully — so I got a lot of trust in them. So it just comes with listening to what they say, taking their advice.”
Williams gained some weight this offseason. He noted that he was too light to compete with larger big men like Philadelphia 76ers center Andre Drummond, who is 6-foot-10, and 279 pounds.
The official weight for the C’s forward has him listed at 237 pounds, but that seems to have increased this offseason.
“It was something I was focusing on,” the big man said when John Karalis of the Boston Sports Journal asked about his weight after noticing he had seemed to gain a few pounds. “We got Andre Drummond over there at 7-(foot)-6, man can run. I needed a meat on my bones. I obviously don’t want to get to the point where I can’t use my versatility, but I for sure tried to put some pounds on.”
With more meat in his bones, Williams, as the lead big man, should see yet another career year added to his resume. That comes with a grain of salt, however, as him staying healthy might be a challenge after the number of injuries he endured last season.
The 6-foot-8 forward was signed to a four-year extension by Boston this offseason.
“My main focus summer was really just my health,” Williams said. “Whatever I needed to do whether it was time off or whether it was seeing a special PT — my focus was just: getting heavy.”
Fellow Celtics big man, Kanter, had high praise for the teammate. Kanter was also signed to a deal this offseason, as he rejoined the team after his stint as a Celtic a couple of years ago came to an end.
“One thing is about Rob, he changed so much physically,” Kanter remarked. “Last year, I was watching some of the Celtics games, and he was adding so much in this game. Like he can shoot now, he can pass, and I mean, obviously, we know he can already jump out of the gym, but like, he’s getting so much better and better every day and he’s learning the game, and he’s an amazing teammate. So I’m really excited, and happy to be on his side.”
(Photo of Rob Williams by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)