After a college career where his work ethic was questioned and a Celtics career that has already gotten off with a delayed introduction conference and a missed flight, rookie big Robert Williams has been assigned Alex Barlow as personal coach/liaison according to Jay King of The Athletic.
The Celtics have generally had assistant coaches matched up with players throughout the summer to work with them in a one-on-one setting and help hone their skills. The news feels a little different for Williams though. He has the reputation of a “good kid who needs some structure” and Boston will do everything to shape him into a professional athlete.
Also, Barlow is essentially changing jobs from working as a Maine Red Claws associate coach to this assistant role, suggesting that the Celtics are preparing to have a more deliberate approach to Williams’ development.
Barlow was a four-year player at Butler before becoming a coach on Brad Stevens’ Bulldogs staff and then transferred over to Maine once Stevens took the job with the Celtics. Barlow is no stranger to commitment. He missed his high school’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony because he didn’t want to skip a beat with the Red Claws.
As a player, Barlow was a Marcus Smart-type where he replaced a lack of talent with sheer effort. My guess? It wasn’t an accident that Stevens paired the player who had to rely on hard-work his whole career to mentor the person who’s gotten by on talent.