In a candid revelation, Dallas Mavericks' forward Grant Williams opened up about a memorable free-throw moment during the 2022 NBA season that left fans and players alike in disbelief. Williams, known for his tenacity and defensive prowess, recalled a bold proclamation he made to Cleveland Cavaliers' star Donovan Mitchell in a regular-season matchup between his then-team Boston Celtics and the Cavaliers.
As the clock wound down and the scores tied, the confident 24-year-old headed to the free-throw line, guaranteeing Mitchell that he would knock down both shots. Unfortunately, the exact opposite happened, leading to a heartbreaker for the Celtics as they lost to the Cavaliers in overtime.
Dallas Mavericks forward Grant Williams reflects on viral moment that haunted him
Reflecting on the incident during an appearance on the "Run Your Race Podcast with Theo Pinson," Williams reflected on his mishap with an infamous moment in NBA history involving Gilbert Arenas.
The former Washington Wizards guard, facing off against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2006 NBA Playoffs, also found himself in a high-stakes free-throw situation. After being taunted by James, Arenas missed two crucial free throws that could have secured the victory for his team. Williams compared his incident with Arenas' mishap against James.
"It was like one of those all-time Gilbert Arenas moments. I clanked both and from then on I think I missed like freaking 6 free throws the rest of the season. I was missing free throws like a mental block."- Grant Williams
While Williams' moment with Mitchell may not have carried the same weight as Arenas', the repercussions of his failed guarantee weighed heavily on the young forward's mind. He admitted that the incident affected his free-throw shooting throughout the remainder of the season, with a mental block hindering his performance at the charity stripe.
The exchange between Williams and Mitchell became a focal point of social media roasts, drawing attention from fans across the league. However, the forward is ready to put the past behind him as he embarks on a new journey with the Dallas Mavericks. As part of a three-team deal involving the Boston Celtics and San Antonio Spurs, Williams is set to join the Mavericks on a four-year, $54 million deal.
The move presents a fresh start for Williams, offering him an opportunity to showcase his skill set and be a vital contributor to the Mavericks' turnaround in the upcoming 2023-24 season. Known for his unwavering defensive commitment, timely shot-making, and intense gameplay, Williams aims to make a positive impact in Dallas as he is fully focused on winning.