Robert Williams III, Josh Richardson appreciate Boston’s competitive fire in training camp

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With one two way slot and potentially a regular roster slot up for grabs and a full 20-man camp roster, you might expect the players at the end of the Boston Celtics potential rotation to be fierce in training camp.

But it isn’t just the players with something to lose in the immediate future going hard in camp under new head coach Ime Udoka, as likely starting center Robert Williams III related after practice on Wednesday. Fairly secure and established players were going full tilt as well — and taking issue with how the plays were being called even in the context of practice.

“Nobody’s taking (expletive), you know?” asked Williams rhetorically.

“Everbody’s out there battling,” he continued, tipping his hand and revealing some of the not-quite-belligerents. “In lots of cases at the end of the scrimmage with (Marcus) Smart and Grant (Williams), but we’re brothers.”

“We’d rather it happen here than on the court,” explained Timelord. “I just like the competitive energy from everybody.”

Relating that the kerfuffle arose in response to Smart believing the Tennessee product was overselling contact, Williams continued by saying, “It’s better to get it out now … we’re brothers; it’s going to happen every day.”

Later on in the post-practice media availability session, teammate Josh Richardson was asked about the altercation.

Confirming Timelord’s account, Richardson added that “the competitive spirit is great. I find I like it when it gets to be like that.”

“I think it’s good for our team. And for my whole life, I’ve known (that) the guys who you get in a fight with … you normally come out on the other end closer, so I think it’s good for us and it’s good for our growth.”

Fans might be worried given Smart’s involvement in a much-publicized locker-room blowup after a loss to the Miami Heat in the 2020 Eastern Conference Finals, but we take the view of these two Celtics as well.

This is the sort of competitive fire and desire for accountability that makes for bringing the best play out of most players, and for forging a real team identity.

Perhaps if there had been blows thrown or worse it might be something to chalk up as a red flag, but for now, we’re going to co-sign these rumbles as evidence of something powerful brewing in Auerbach Center.

This post originally appeared on Celtics Wire. Follow us on Facebook!

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