Aaron Nesmith and Payton Pritchard thought they had a few days to get settled in Boston this weekend. But Grant Williams had other plans.
The Celtics took Nesmith (No. 14) and Pritchard (No. 26) with their first-round picks in the 2020 NBA Draft on Wednesday night, and both rookies arrived in Boston on Thursday, judging by their Twitter feeds.
Enter Williams, Boston's colorful second-year big man who has an affinity for the popular board game "Settlers of Catan." On Monday, Williams declared he had already broken in the Celtics rookies by taking them down in "Settlers" on Sunday night.
That's a unique form of rookie hazing.
It's a perfectly natural activity for Williams, though: The 21-year-old got hooked on the board game as a sophomore at Tennessee and tried to cajole his Celtics teammates into playing with him last season. He even donated multiple sets of "Settlers" to the game room at the Auerbach Center.
(For more on Williams' love affair with "Settlers of Catan," check out this feature story from The Boston Globe's Nicole Yang.)
It remains to be seen whether Williams has two future playing partners in Nesmith and Pritchard or if the Celtics draft picks were just humoring their new teammate. But if you're new to the Celtics and Williams is around, you might want to brush up on your board game knowledge.
UPDATE (Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2:45 p.m. ET): Did Williams claim false victory Monday?
During his introductory press conference Tuesday, Pritchard suggested their board game matches haven't been as one-sided as Williams claims.
“We’ve been hanging out with Grant and Carsen (Edwards). Grant has us playing some board games," Pritchard said.
"He acts like he’s been winning. He has not. So, for the media aspect of all that, he has not won much. But it’s been fun."