Kemba Walker

Celtics At Home: Grant Williams details life as Kemba Walker's roommate

Celtics At Home: Grant Williams details life as Kemba Walker's roommate

Boston Celtics teammates Grant Williams and Kemba Walker haven't been able to step on the court together for the last couple of months, but they've still seen plenty of one another since the NBA season was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Walker extended Williams an offer to live with him at his house in Charlotte, North Carolina during quarantine, and the rookie gladly accepted. Williams recently talked about his experience living with Walker, saying "it’s been amazing" and the two have gotten to know each other much better over the last few weeks.

In NBC Sports Boston's latest edition of "Celtics At Home," Williams talked to Abby Chin about who has been taking care of all of the cooking and cleaning during his time living with Walker.

"I actually just let the dogs out to use the bathroom outside right before I got on this call," Williams told Chin. "In regards to cooking and cleaning, we're pretty clean people. So we do our best to keep everything tidy. But cooking, he has his own chef and she does a phenomenal job of taking care of the both of us now and I'm thankful for her, Chef Chianti, and I thought about hiring her too. We're enjoying that, and the times we're on our own we just kind of either order something or make. Kemba's not that bad of a cook and I'm not either so we've been enjoying the time."

As for his favorite meal to make?

"I love cooking Asian stir fry," Williams answered. "I add a lot of things to it, my dad taught me how to make it. Then there's these dirty green beans we make and all this other stuff that we have, so those are probably my two favorite."

Williams also chats with Abby about the impact on his body the NBA has vs. college, his biggest non-basketball accomplishment, and more. Also joining us on the latest episode of "Celtics At Home" are Cedric Maxwell, Sean Grande, Kyle Draper, and Brian Scalabrine for a game of Celtics Census.

Watch the full "Celtics At Home" episode below, or on our YouTube page:

What NBA's return-to-action plan means for the Celtics

What NBA's return-to-action plan means for the Celtics

When the NBA season was put on pause in March, the timing could not have been much better for the Boston Celtics. 

Wins were getting harder to come by (they had lost three of their last five), the jacuzzi-hot play of Jayson Tatum was starting to cool off some and Kemba Walker was headed towards a stretch of “strategic rest” days off because of knee soreness. 

And just like the rest of the NBA is fired up about the potential return to play reportedly as early as the end of late July, the Celtics are an eager bunch to restart the season as well. 

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And they should be for a number of reasons. 

First and foremost, there’s a very real chance that they can move up in the standings if the league adopts the reported return-to-play model which includes eight regular season games before the playoffs. 

Currently third in the East, the Celtics would begin the postseason against Philadelphia if the league went straight into the playoffs — an idea that hasn’t garnered a ton of support from owners or players. 

An eight-game slate of games would provide Boston with enough opportunities to potentially move ahead of Toronto and secure the No. 2 seed in the East. 

The way the standings look now, the potential for movement is great for many teams. 

Boston (43-21) trails the Raptors (46-18) by three games in the standings. Behind the Celtics you find the Heat (41-24) who are 2.5 games back.

The next closest teams to Boston beyond those two are Indiana and Philadelphia (both 39-26) who each trail Boston by 4.5 games. 

For the Celtics’ sake, moving up from their current draft position and avoiding a first-round matchup with Philadelphia would be the preferred path to take this postseason. 

The Sixers, one of the bigger disappointments this season, will feature a healthy Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, making them a much tougher foe come playoff time. 

For the Celtics, the alternative if they move up would be a Brooklyn Nets team that’s expected to play this postseason without Kyrie Irving or Kevin Durant who have both been out recovering from injuries. 

There’s also a chance that Boston would face the Indiana Pacers in the first round if the C's remain as the Eastern Conference’s No. 3 seed which, similar to facing Philadelphia, would provide a tough first-round matchup. 

The reboot to the season also allows more time for the Celtics to adjust to what’s shaping up to be a new pecking order. 

While Walker is the team’s most proven, most decorated talent, there’s no escaping the inevitable rise of Tatum as the face of the franchise (if he’s not already there). 

As the season wore on, his ascension was undeniable. Tatum began the season as a player the Celtics were hoping to see blossom into a big-time talent with the departures of Irving (Brooklyn) and Al Horford (Philadelphia).

Following his first All-Star appearance in February, Tatum averaged 29.9 points, 7.9 rebounds and 3.1 assists while shooting 47.2 percent from the field and 46.8 percent on 3’s. His ability to pick up where he left off would go far in Boston’s quest to build off the successes they had this past season. 

As for Walker, he had missed some games and played limited minutes in others shortly before the season was paused thanks to knee soreness.

The extended downtime without games or practice should allow Walker to return to action revived and refreshed.

And him being healthy combined with Tatum’s improved play gives the Celtics a potent 1-2 punch as they inch closer to rebooting the system and in doing so, restarting their journey towards what they believe will be a deep postseason run. 

Grant Williams took up Kemba Walker's offer to live together during quarantine

Grant Williams took up Kemba Walker's offer to live together during quarantine

Grant Williams said Boston Celtics teammate Kemba Walker extended an offer for the rookie to live with him during quarantine and the two have been roommates at Walker’s Charlotte, North Carolina home while waiting to see what becomes of the 2019-20 season.

“For as much as I talk, I’m glad that he even considered it,” quipped Williams.

For Williams, who grew up and played his high school ball in Charlotte, being around familiar places but still being able to absorb from a veteran teammate has maximized his quarantine experience.

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"It’s been amazing,” said Williams. "Just hanging out. Relaxing, being able to get to know each other better, as well as work out together because we’re here, we’re isolated … It was just a great decision.

“[Walker] actually offered it because I was debating even coming home and I was worried because I knew I was going to be either in and out of the house, working out at different places, if possible, or going somewhere to at least stay active. … He said, ‘If you want, you can always stay with me,’ and I took him up on the offer and I’m thankful for him.”

Williams said that Walker has both a weight room and a basketball court on the grounds of what’s listed as an 8,000-square foot home online, which allows the rookie to stay sharp in all facets of the game.

What kind of roommate is Walker?

"He’s great because he’s comfortable. He’s very to himself,” said Williams. "He relaxes a lot and takes care of himself. He’s not really high maintenance or anything like that. So he’s a great dude. In general, he’s one of the best human beings I’ve met throughout this process. He’s a genuine guy. So all he does really is just relax, play games, and watch film, basically. Do everything he can working out too, so that’s about all.”

Williams said he’s kept busy during quarantine by both mentoring a group of kids back in Boston and learning new card games to keep his mind active.

“Honestly, I’ve done a lot,” said Williams. "I’ve tried to stay active. I picked up that mentor program with my kids. I actually have a call with them after I get off the call with [reporters]. And trying to keep them engaged and their minds flowing because they’re in Boston right now and on their own, not able to see friends and stuff. So I’m trying to give them light in kind of the darkness.

"And then also I’ve done a lot of card games because Kemba enjoys cards. I’ve learned how to play Dominion because Mike Zarren, our assistant GM, plays that. So I was like, you know what, I’ll pick that up, too. So I’ve been playing that on my laptop or iPad all the time. Honestly, just whatever is suggested. I have Spades on my phone, Uno on my phone, chess on my phone. I could go down the list. And also video games. I’ve been playing Call of Duty. And I spend my time with basketball, too. So film. And trying to stay active and FaceTime with my family, trying to keep in touch.”

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Williams said he’s hopeful he gets his first taste of the playoffs if the NBA season resumes. He’s confident the league will prioritize player safety and is on board with a neutral site location like Orlando.

He said Celtics players are doing all they can to maintain the obvious chemistry that existed before the season paused.

“We definitely, as a team, keep in touch,” said Williams. "We honestly text every day, we have our group chat, and we do our thing to keep in contact and check in on each other, make sure everybody is staying active.

“The Celtics have done a great job of keeping us going with lifts. We can get on FaceTime or Zoom and all lift together and do certain things. So, at different times of the day, certain people might be in different time zones, depending on where you’re at. My group is definitely me, Tacko [Fall], Carsen [Edwards], Brad [Wanamaker], Semi [Ojeleye] — we have a big group. So we’ve been going for a while.”