Here’s why the Celtics are glad Grant Williams is learning how hard officiating ‘actually is’

"No one can give him as hard a time as he gives the refs."

Grant Williams
Brad Stevens having words with forward Grant Williams who worked as a referee during their Summer League Team’s practice at the Auerbach Center. Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff

Celtics forward Grant Williams developed a bit of a reputation for his treatment of referees during the playoffs.

Williams — perhaps more so than even Jayson Tatum or other frequent complainers on the team — made sure to loudly declare his displeasure whenever officials made a call he didn’t like, and a significant majority of the calls seemed to be disagreeable.

The Celtics didn’t always take Williams’ side, and they were often asked by reporters over the course of the postseason whether their players were complaining too much.

“I’ve always thought that, when I was coaching in my most emotional moments, I would go back and watch the game afterwards, and most of the calls were usually right,” Brad Stevens said shortly after the season ended. “I think that it wasn’t always the case, but it was most of the time. And so I think that the longer you go through it and the more that you’re in it, you’ve just got to control what you can control.”


Now, it seems, the coaching staff wants Williams to see things from the officials’ perspective. Williams was in town on Tuesday helping officiate scrimmages between members of the Celtics’ Summer League team, and Celtics Summer League coach Ben Sullivan was queried about Williams’ new job after practice on Tuesday.

“Like the quality of the reffing, or … ?” Sullivan quipped. “No, Grant was fine. It’s good for Grant to see how hard officiating actually is so that when he’s hard on them, he can have a better perspective.”

Was anyone hard on Williams?

“No one can give him as hard a time as he gives the refs,” Sullivan said.

Williams — who also got chippy with several opposing players, including Draymond Green — picked up four technicals during the playoffs. The Celtics, it seems, would prefer if he toned down the extracurricular chatter during games next season.


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