Robert Williams has one of the more unique nicknames in the NBA. The “Timelord” has grown in popularity, making it from the weird corners of Boston Celtics Twitter to the local broadcasts and, thanks in large part to Doris Burke, onto the national broadcasts of Celtics games.
In a pregame interview with Abby Chin on NBC Sports Boston, Williams was asked about the nickname taking off, but he still didn’t seem too enthused about it.
Stuck as he is (and that name certainly is not going anywhere), it might become lucrative for him.
Asked if his agent was working on any deals with watch makers like Tissot (an official NBA sponsor), Williams said, “they’ve reached out, they’ve reached out. It may or may not be in the works, they’ve reached out.”
Timex took notice of Williams’ nickname right away. And while Williams made it sound like Tissot was the brand that reached out, it could be any timepiece maker (or all of them… one for each dimension in which Williams lives).
That joke leads us to the real story of the origins of “Timelord.” There has been some confusion over the start of the nickname. It was born from an online conversation by two of the purveyors of Celtics Twitter weirdness, @RiffsMan & @Cosmis, a.k.a Ryan Hebert and Brian Schroeder. This Forbes piece details it quite nicely, but basically Riffs and Cosmis coined the name after a series of events after Williams was drafted where he missed a conference call and a plane to his first practice.
What people don’t realize is that the name is mocking the media for making those events into big deals, not mocking Williams for his slip-ups.
“Brian called him Timelord and I turned him into like a Funkadelic character where the explanation for why he’s late for things and how I predicted his coming is that he’s trans-navigating multiple timelines,” Hebert told Forbes.
Wade into “Weird Celtics Twitter” waters and you’ll find every eye-popping Williams highlight celebrated as if he’d cross dimensions to make the play. That this joke between friends, even thought they’re influential Twitter users, became this kind of phenomenon speaks to the uniqueness of the name, and the uniqueness of Williams’ game. And he knows, no matter what he thinks of the name, it’s sticking around.
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World news – US – Robert Williams says ‘Timelord’ nickname may lead to watch sponsorship: ‘they’ve reached out’