On October 26, the NBA Communications Twitter account announced the following.
“Boston Celtics forward Grant Williams has been suspended one game without pay for recklessly making contact with and directing inappropriate language toward a game official, it was announced by Joe Dumars, Executive Vice President, Head of Basketball Operations.
“The contact, for which Williams was assessed a technical foul and ejected, occurred with 8:58 remaining in the fourth quarter of Boston’s 120-102 loss to the Chicago Bulls on October 24 at United Center.
“Williams will serve his suspension Friday, October 28 when the Celtics host the Cleveland Cavaliers.”
Williams’ actions warranted both the first ejection and suspension he’s ever had since starting his NBA career with the Celtics in 2019.
Williams’ Explanation of the Incident
Following his ejection, Williams appeared headed to the locker room, but not before turning around and screaming something at the officials, which explains the “directing inappropriate language” part when the NBA announced his suspension.
According to Heavy Sports’ Steve Bulpett, “Williams turned and shouted as he was guided from the court, punctuating his remarks with the word ‘bitch.'”
Bulpett also said that Williams explained his thoughts on the matter when the ejection occurred.
The witness gave this account of the interaction, “She asked him if he touched the referee, and he’s like, ‘I walked toward her and she was backing up, so it wasn’t like intentional. I wasn’t trying to.’ He told her, ‘I didn’t say anything. I didn’t say anything.’”
It’s clear that Williams does not agree with how the NBA characterized his antics when they decided to suspend him. Regardless, what’s done is done, and all Williams can do is prepare for the Celtics’ next opponent following the Cavaliers, the Washington Wizards, who they will face on October 30.
The Celtics’ Current Frontcourt Depth
With Williams out for the Celtics’ next game against the Cavaliers, the Celtics will be down him, Robert Williams III and Danilo Gallinari going in.
With those three out, the Celtics are left with Al Horford, Noah Vonleh, Blake Griffin, Luke Kornet, and Mfiondu Kabengele as their lone playable bigs on the roster.
When at full strength this season (minus Gallinari and Williams), the Celtics have rolled with Horford as their starting center, while Vonleh has gotten the nod over Griffin and Kornet. With Grant Williams suspended, the Celtics will have either have to turn to one of Griffin, Kornet, or Kabengele or they may just rely on smaller lineups when going up against the Cavaliers.
In other news, videos have gone up of Robert Williams III and Gallinari practicing at the Celtics’ facility, even though neither of their returns are close.
Williams is expected to return during the 2022-23 season, but Gallinari is expected to miss the whole season rehabbing from a torn ACL, but that is not set in stone. If both make their return before the playoffs, that adds a lot of intrigue to how Joe Mazzulla will handle his rotations.