Celtics Coach Pokes Fun at Grant Williams for Referees Antics

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Grant Williams of the Boston Celtics.

The Boston Celtics offseason is in full swing. Brad Stevens has already filmed and acted, allegedly taking several moves including signing Danilo Gallinari to a two-year deal and trading multiple players and a pick for Malcolm Brogdon.

Next up for Boston is the Summer League. They just completed their list, which includes Jayson Tatum’s cousin. The team are already training together, and one of the scrimmages involved hiring Celtics forward Grant Williams to referee.

At the same time, Celtics assistant coach Ben Sullivan, who will serve as the head coach of the Boston Summer League team, decided to poke fun at Williams. He said it was good for Williams to experience the difficulties of refereeing and hinted at the forward’s past encounters with referees.

“Grant was ok” explained Sullivan. “It’s good for Grant to see how tough the job actually is so that when he’s hard on them he has a better perspective. Nobody can make it as difficult for him as he can for the referees.

Williams often gets into arguments with the umpires. Whether he’s complaining about calls, no-calls or the like, he’s constantly having conversations with the umpires, and mostly not in a friendly way.

The youngster even got into trouble with head coach Ime Udoka for the antics when he challenged Williams in early May.


Udoka scolds Williams for referee antics

In Game 3 against the Milwaukee Bucks, there was a sequence where Williams thought he was fouled on a drive. He immediately started complaining to the umpires, but while he was doing so, the Bucks pushed the pace in the transition.

With Williams not returning to defense, Bucks wing Pat Connaughton was able to nail a wide-open corner three. Udoka immediately called a timeout and began chewing up Williams in the huddle. He spoke about the incident after the game, calling it a “learning moment.”

“Just a learning moment,” explained Udoka. “You shouldn’t rely on that. You have to play through it just like they did. They played at pace. When we cried over calls, they walked out and got too many light looks. So something like I said, we talked about it early in camp. It’s something I’ll keep hammering on until we get where we want to be.”


Ime Udoka: “We were all pretty mad at the end of Game 3” | Celtics vs Bucks Game 4MILWAUKEE, WI — Ime Udoka was interviewed following Boston’s 116-108 win over the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 4 Monday night. The Celtics have now leveled the series 2-2 and return to Boston for Game 5 on Wednesday night. Ime Udoka said that after the result of the last game, the team was angry and…2022-05-10T03:00:51Z

Williams made up for the debacle with his play in the rest of the series, but the forward has sadly trended his whining. He even called the umpires during the finals after colliding multiple times with Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green.


Williams challenges officials in NBA Finals

After Game 2 of the NBA Finals, fans were upset that Green was not ejected. Many believed he should have been called out for his second technical foul after an encounter with Jaylen Brown. The referees said after the game that they were considerate of the situation and didn’t want to throw Green out for it. Speaking to Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes, Williams said they want technicians to be called regularly.

“Personally, I think you have to understand the scale of the game and how a throw-out can affect the game,” Williams said. “Nobody wants the game to be affected by an ejection. But either all techs are the same or you look at the situation when [contemplating] a second tech. We just want the rules to be enforced easily and consistently.”

Regardless, Williams’ in-game complaints have cost the Celtics. Perhaps the chance to referee Summer League scrimmages will help him understand how difficult it is to referee in the NBA.

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