Kelli L Krebs
Knoxville News Sentinel
Published 9:01 AM EDT Jul 12, 2019
Grayson Allen is staying on brand.
Former Tennessee basketball star-turned Boston Celtics rookie Grant Williams took the brunt of it in the NBA Summer League Thursday night.
Williams absorbed two flagrant fouls from Allen in the span of 7 seconds during the fourth quarter against the Memphis Grizzlies.
With 9:12 left in the game, Allen swatted for the ball as Williams drove to the net. He missed the ball, but connected with the back of Williams’ head.
Allen gave his signature “what’d I do?” look as the whistle blew and Williams started toward him. Teammates stepped in and redirected a smiling Williams back to the court.
“A little bit,” Williams told reporters after the Celtics’ 113-87 win, when asked if he was just laughing off the encounter. “I joke around because where I grew up is different. So I was like, ‘Let me relax and go on and keep playing, just what my team needs.’”
Allen, who already picked up a technical earlier in the contest, was ejected.
During his four-year college career at Duke, Allen developed a reputation for cheap shots and tripping opposing players. The Atlantic Coast Conference reprimanded him for appearing to trip two players on purpose in 2016.
“He’s a competitor,” Williams said. “Don’t take anything personally. I’ve always thought of it as you wind up in the game, things like that happen. So you respect him, he’s a talented player. He’s a guy who did really great things at Duke, he’s good friends with a couple of my friends, so I didn’t take it personally. It was just a matter of competing on the court.”
Williams, the No. 22 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, led all Celtics scorers with 21 points and grabbed 7 rebounds.
The two will meet again Saturday when the Celtics and Grizzlies’ match up as the No. 1 and No. 8 seeds in the tournament.
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