Boston Celtics’ Grant Williams spoke to the media ahead of the team’s European Primetime game against the OKC Thunder on Sunday.
Q: On Sunday, you guys face the Thunder at NBA Primetime in Europe, it’s going to be the first time you’ve faced them since Russell Westbrook left, what do you expect from them?
GW: “A fast paced kind of team. You look at the team they have, they play a three-guard line-up often with Lu Dort, Chris Paul, Dennis Schroder, Shai Gilgeous and they’re very fast. Steven Adams is a force inside, a man, and you just have to be prepared to match their physicality and their quickness. They’re a talented team and a team that before the season no one was talking about. Now, you look at that them and you’re super excited to compete against them. Danilo Gallinari is having a good year, so you just come in trying to match the same energy, but play with the right mentality on our end.
Q: You have a number of guys that are superstars, but if you had to pick one or two, who have been the standouts that you’ve seen as a rookie, who would they be?
GW: “A super star? I don’t know if I can pick one or two. I can pick four. The four that we have Kemba (Walker) JT (Jayson Tatum) JB (Jaylen Brown) and Gordon (Hayward). Those are the four superstars and we have a star in Marcus (Smart) and you go down the line. We have a lot of talented players and in terms as a superstar, those are the guys that will get those substantial deals because they’re so talented and they’ve proven themselves over the course of their career, and Marcus is the same way – he’s been a star in his role, as well as he can play any position. I’m very thankful for the team that I’m on.”
Q: Since you brought up Kemba, what are some of the things that he brings to the team?
GW: “A sense of leadership that you don’t normally see. He has a unique trait of not only being able to speak to anyone in the right way, but having energy every single day and being a guy that you can rely on. That’s what you need in a leader and in a point guard, for sure. So, he has a lot of talented traits on the offensive end, but he also competes. It’s not one of those small guards that’s a liability on defense because he puts his all on the court every single night. He not only puts his body on the line, but he puts his heart on the line, too.”
Q: Obviously you’ve seen the changes in the NBA All-Star game to honour Kobe, what do you think about that?
GW: “It’s tough to see, but it’s also to try and honour him any way we can and his legacy – him and his daughter as well as the other seven victims that were in the crash. It’s definitely difficult, but I’m just glad the NBA is trying to make it easier on all of us.”
Q: Do you think they should find further ways to honour his legacy down the road, whatever they can?
GW: “I think, whatever they can do. I can’t really think too much on it because the more ideas you have, the more you start thinking about it. For me, it’s just a matter of honouring him any way they can, and I think they’ll do right by him.”
NBA Sundays presented by NBA2K20 on Sky Sports – part of a record 48 Primetime games live on Sky Sports starting from 7.00pm every weekend. This week on 9 February the Oklahoma City Thunder host the Boston Celtics on Sky Sports Arena from 8.30pm.