Jayson Tatum rebukes Grant Williams accusation from Boston Celtics announcer

Philadelphia 76ers v Boston Celtics - Game Seven
Philadelphia 76ers v Boston Celtics - Game Seven / Adam Glanzman/GettyImages

Grant Williams, who left the Boston Celtics in free agency months ago, finds himself in the team's news cycle again.

Williams spent four seasons with Boston as a floor-spacing big who showed flashes of being a defensive stopper. But by the end of his tenure, his outspoken personality had overshadowed his on-court contributions. His constant jawing and visible antics clearly rubbed some the wrong way, including the voice of the Celtics' Mike Gorman.

During a recent appearance on 98.5 The Sports Hub's Toucher & Hardy, Gorman bashed Williams in a genuinely surreal rant.

“He was annoying to everybody. I think, initially, everybody thought he was kind of a wise-ass, but he’s kind of cute, and he’s kind of funny,” Gorman said of Williams (h/t Boston.com). “Then it just kind of wore thin. It got thin in Dallas, obviously. …He had some issues in that area that if he doesn’t get rid of, he doesn’t have enough for teams to say, ‘Well OK, but despite that, we’re going to keep him here because he’s a great player.’ He’s not.

“He’s an extra. An eighth, ninth, or 10th guy on your roster, so those guys are very replaceable. The guy’s a bad locker room guy. If you’re a bad locker room guy, you’re an eighth or ninth guy, you’re not going to be the eighth or ninth guy for long because you’re not going to be on the team for long.”

The story caught fire online, spreading rapidly thanks to numerous aggregation pages that picked it up. When Jayson Tatum saw the story, he quickly defended Williams.

The Boston Celtics need to move on from Grant Williams

Mike Gorman has been with the Boston Celtics for over 40 years. Even with his advanced age, it's hard to imagine he isn't in the know. Between his name value and longstanding connections, he can gather whatever information he wants.

Conversely, Tatum has always praised Williams in interviews, and they seem to be good friends. When the pair reunited in Dallas, they were shown sharing some laughs before and after the game. Williams has even started dawning the Tatum 2s on the floor.

Celtics coaches Ime Udoka and Joe Mazzulla chewed out Williams on more than one occasion. He loved complaining to officials and jawing at the other team's top stars. Every call was an excuse for Williams to get some words in. It was more reminiscent of a professional wrestling character than a basketball player fighting to move up the pecking order.

I'm sure both Gorman and Tatum are correct. Williams probably annoyed many around the Cs organization. He was spotty at best when he got minutes, and he could never carve out a spot in the rotation for too long at a time. Coaches butted heads with him and were tired of the constant stunts.

Behind the scenes, that was likely a different story. Despite his reputation as a locker room pariah, Williams garnered enough support from fellow players to become the NBA Players Association's vice president. He wouldn't get such a prominent position like that if not for the backing of his teammates. Sometimes, cliches are correct, and the truth likely falls somewhere in the middle.

With a long history facing the media, Gorman should have recognized the attempt to bait him into a headline and responded more strategically. Tatum was just sticking up for his friend. The problem is that this shouldn't be a talking point.

Williams is trying to revive his career with the woeful Charlotte Hornets — he is nowhere near the Celtics' radar. It seems like he makes news in the Boston market every week, and it's sickening. It's time to move on.