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Robert Parish: Robert Williams needs a mentor

The Celtics legend and Hall-of-Famer had some advice for Boston’s young big man

Boston Celtics v Philadelphia 76ers Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

As the Boston Celtics continue to hover around .500, many fans are having trouble finding things to get excited about. Some had their sights set on a deep playoff run, but as of now, the C’s could struggle to reach the play-in. However, during a time of darkness, Robert Williams has been a light at the end of the tunnel.

For most of last season, Williams grappled with injuries and found himself behind both Daniel Theis and Tristan Thompson in the rotation. Well this year, the 24-year-old big man is playing more minutes than ever (29.5) and starting every game he plays in.

On the latest episode of Celtics Lab on CLNS Media, NBA Hall-of-Famer and Celtics legend Robert Parish stopped by. When asked if Williams could ever be an All-Star, he responded with a suggestion for the young center.

“I think there’s a lot of potential with that. I think what might hinder him is a mentor. The right mentor. He needs a mentor that’s played the position. Not a guard or a forward trying to tell a center how to play the position.”

Parish said that his mentor was Clifford Ray and that Williams needs someone in his corner. At 35 years old and with his experience, Al Horford could be that guy, but Parish suggested a different idea. He wants to see more big man coaches around the league.

“I think that’s one of the issues with NBA coaching. Not enough big man coaches. They got coaches for the forwards and the guards. The little people. Bigs need love, too.”

Only three of Boston’s head coaches have NBA experience - Ime Udoka, Damon Stoudamire, and Aaron Miles. Udoka was a forward, while both Stoudamire and Miles were short guards. Looking around the league, Parish is correct, there aren’t many big men coaching. Amar’e Stoudemire, Tiago Splitter, and Vin Baker are a few exceptions.

Outside of a mentor, though, Parish did have one other piece of advice for Williams moving forward - never stop believing in yourself.

“Have unconditional belief and confidence in yourself. Things, like everything else in life, your career’s going to ebb and flow. You’re going to have good times and bad times. So you just gotta have unshakeable confidence in yourself.”

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