Robert Williams III has taken on a larger than expected role with the Boston Celtics early this NBA season. The Celtics rookie has a lot of potential, sure, but he wasn’t in the immediate plans for a team loaded with talent and expected to be in the conversation for an Eastern Conference title.
But another slew of injuries for the Celtics — though currently not as drastic as they suffered last season — has thrust Williams onto the court, much to the delight of Weird Celtics Twitter. Yes, the same people who think Ben Simmons isn’t brave enough to attempt a 3-point shot in a regulation game seem to love Williams III, who endeared himself to them right away by missing his flight to his first practice, followed by an equally weird introduction to the media after he was taken on draft day.
Williams is super cool, is what they’re getting at. And he got a name befitting him this season when Weird Celtics Twitter — namely @HerbertofRiffs — dubbed him “Time Lord.” It may not make sense to everyone, but it’s significantly better than calling him “Big Dunk Rob” or something else with equally diminishing returns.
The nickname has spread to the point that people are actually referring to it on the broadcast of Celtics games.
The problem, however, is that Williams and the Celtics don’t seem to keen on the nickname for their rookie. Celtics GM Danny Ainge thinks a better name for him is out there, and he’s encouraging people to go find it.
“No, I don’t,” Ainge said plainly Thursday on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s “Toucher & Rich” on Thursday. “That’s a bad name. … We can do better.”
Williams himself was asked about this on Friday and, disappointingly, didn’t seem too enthused about “Time Lord” either.
This doesn’t really mean anything, as not every person gets to embrace a term and give themselves a nickname. That’s not really how it works, unless you’re Joel Embiid. Sometimes, great nicknames are just thrust upon you. And if he can get a sponsorship deal out of it, well, maybe he should accept a good nickname for what it is.
Apparently, Williams’ sister has a completely different nickname for her brother as well.
So who knows what we should call him other than Robert Williams III. But until Al Horford’s knee injury gets better, we’ll be seeing Time Lord on the floor a lot more for the Celtics.