Celtics point guard Kemba Walker has a new roommate: rookie Grant Williams.
The two are living together in Walker’s home in Charlotte, N.C., where Williams grew up and Walker spent eight seasons of his NBA career. When the NBA suspended its season in March, Walker returned south and Williams wanted to do the same, but concerns about being around his grandparents and other family members had him hesitant to make the trip.
“I was debating even coming home,” Williams said in a video conference Thursday afternoon. “[Kemba] said, ‘If you want, you can always stay with me.'”
Williams took him up on the offer.
The house potentially featured one more teammate, as Javonte Green also received an invitation to come join, but for now, it’s just Williams and Walker.
The pair have been making use of Walker’s outdoor basketball court, getting shots up, rebounding for one another, and working on ball-handling drills. They haven’t played any one-on-one in order to limit their risk of injury and amount of contact.
“A light contest is different than guarding somebody straight up, and potentially rolling an ankle or something like that, so we’re just being cautious,” Williams said.
As for what Walker is like as a roommate?
He mainly keeps to himself, according to Williams. They’ve played cards together, with Walker using most of his other free time to watch film or relax.
“He’s not really high maintenance or anything like that,” said Williams.
For his part, Williams has stayed busy. He’s picked up a new board game, Dominion, a favorite of assistant general manager Mike Zarren, and has an assortment of apps on his phone, from chess to spades to Uno. He also has launched a virtual mentoring program for a group of teenage boys in the Boston area.
The NBA season remains shut down, as the league is working through potential scenarios to resume action. The Celtics’ practice facility in Brighton also has yet to reopen.
“They’re going to do their best to protect us,” Williams said. “I trust not only the Celtics and what they’re going to provide with our facility when it’s all set and ready to go, and then same with the league when it comes to wherever we play or when we play. They’re going to have every single thing locked down.”