Portland Trail Blazers forward Robert Williams III is a gamer on the court and with the sticks off the court. The man known as Time Lord is a certified Call Of Duty fan and in a quick interview with Hip-Hop Wired, he offered plenty of insight into getting adjusted to his new Portland surroundings (he was traded from the Celtics in the summer—a sad day for this Celtics fan writer), explained the joy he finds in gaming, and of course what he’s looking forward to in Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare III.
Robert Williams III says he was initially an NBA 2K player but got into Call Of Duty during his rookie year (he was drafted in 2018, so we’re talking Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 era). After admittedly taking a break for a year, he’s been back in full swing ever since. The franchise aligns with the high-flying forward’s NBA travel grind and keeps him trouble-free.
“It’s a mixture of things,” said Williams about why he plays. “It’s unwinding. A lot of times [instead] of going out and making some bad decisions, Call Of Duty will help you make great decisions. Just being able to communicate with people around the world. Being able to communicate with my fam back home over the game—kind of go through therapy sessions. We may get into a party and not even start the match for 30 minutes, just talking to each other.”
With Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare III on the horizon, which lands Friday (Nov. 10), Williams is looking forward to getting as comfortable with the new title as he is on the court.
“I love it, man,” said Williams of the early taste of the game he was granted. “I feel like Call Of Duty surprises us every time. We ask ourselves what they can do to make it better or we suggest stuff that would make it better and a lot of the times the stuff that people suggest will really make the game terrible. We don’t realize it. I think they did a great job. I’m ready to play the campaign. I want to see what the rest of the game has in store.”
If you think Williams dropped a generic answer, he confirmed that he was legit when detailing his style of gameplay.
“I was the type where when I first started playing [I’d let] my friends go on fighting [and] I was the sniper that sat in the back the whole time. I’m marking people. [But then] I fell in love with SMGs. I really miss the Cooper Carbine [Ed. Note: from Call Of Duty: Vanguard], I miss those bad,” Williams said.
Williams’ gritty play on the court will surely be missed by Boston Celtics fans. His new home and team of Portland are already treating him well.
“It was just tough getting adjusted to the West Coast time coming from Boston,” Williams shared. “But the city of Portland is amazing, man. People [have] been welcoming me. Been trying to find some good food. The nature is crazy, the trees, the wilderness out there is crazy.”
As a testament to the type of person he is, he’s already eyeing ways to give back to his new city.
“Obviously it’s not a celebratory topic, but I think Portland’s homelessness is probably the worst I’ve ever seen in my life, so I’m trying to figure out the next steps to get involved and try to help with that,” Williams said. In 2022, Portland ranked 25th nationwide in homelessness; per Axios, the homeless rate rose 20% in 2023.
Williams, a well-paid pro athlete, displaying such empathy is a testament to the type of teammate he is. This is often glossed over by those covering him in the press.
“I’m a people person,” said Williams when asked what’s the most underrated part of his NBA game. “Anything I can do to help the team. Anything I can do to help my coaches, any given time on and off the court. This is what I am. I know I look unapproachable, I got neck tattoos and all that man, but I’ma cool person.”
Unfortunately for Blazers fans, Williams will have more time to play Call Of Duty since he recently suffered a knee injury that will sideline him for a least a few months (we conducted this interview a short while ago). But you can guarantee he’ll be back, stronger than ever.
Get well soon, Robert Williams III. We got your six.
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