Robert Williams is your 2021-2022 Tommy Award winner. Before facing the Miami Heat on Wednesday, the Celtics celebrated Tommy (Heinsohn) Day by giving the honor to this year’s recipient. With Williams recovering from surgery after a torn left meniscus ended his regular season (with a return expected in 4-6 weeks), Marcus Smart accepted the award in his place.
Forget for a moment Williams’ candidacy for Most Improved Player or Defensive Player of the Year (an award he’d gladly defer to the inaugural winner of the Tommy Award, Marcus Smart). What Timelord gives the Celtics is that extra juice, that wow factor, that intimidating edge on the defensive end. As TD Garden public address announcer Eddie Paladino says, Williams won the award “in honor of his hustle, effort, and pride throughout the season.”
Here’s bonus video from NBC Sports Boston and Tomasz Kordylewski of the late great Tommy Heinsohn comparing Robert Williams to former teammate and Celtics legend Bill Russell.
Get well, big fella.