Can't hold a candle to this gift: Grant Williams gives thanks to Celtics staff


BOSTON — Grant Williams has successfully coerced many of his Celtics teammates into off-day adventures — an escape room, a local college game, or a soccer friendly — but, maybe not surprisingly, he encountered some resistance recently when it came to a much different escapade: Candlemaking.

Williams eventually made his way over to Paddywax Candle Bar on Newbury Street earlier this month where he sampled all of the scents before crafting his own candle in a wassail and spice scent (think hot mulled cider and Christmas). Williams enjoyed the experience so much he decided to work with Paddywax to create custom-tinned candles to give to all of his Celtics teammates, coaches, and every employee that works for the team.

On Tuesday morning, Boston’s lone off-day before the Thanksgiving holiday, Grant the Candlemaker ventured from the Auerbach Center to the team’s executive offices next to TD Garden to hand deliver some 200 smoked cedar and nutmeg candles. The gifts came in a gold tin with a green-and-white wrapper that bore the message, “Let’s have a great year!” ringed by, “Appreciate all you do for us. From, Grant.”

The gesture stunned many of the Celtics staffers. Players often exchange gifts, especially swag from promotional sponsors, around the holidays but long-time members of the organization can’t remember a player giving gifts to the entire support staff at any point over the last decade.

“I just wanted to show my appreciation for everyone here at the Celtics organization because, you look at us, and typically if you do gift someone, usually it’s the guys who are at the practice facility and the guys that you see every day,” said Williams. "But there’s a lot of people behind the scenes that don’t get the credit they deserve so I wanted to show at least a token of appreciation.”

Williams crashed meetings led by team president Rich Gotham then gleefully jumped on the phones while visiting with season ticket representatives. Williams said isn’t looking for anyone to, ahem, wax poetic about his gift-giving; he just wanted to, ahem, light up someone’s day.

"I obviously like to make people smile,” said Williams. "I”m not really looking for the recognition. Just focused on picking somebody’s day up.”

And he’s hopeful maybe next time he can corral some fellow NBA players into joining the candle experience. He said he’s texted fellow Tennessee Vols Tobias Harris and Josh Richardson, both now with the 76ers, in hopes of gaining their support.

"Josh was like, ‘No, I haven’t [made candles] but I would be down to,’” said Williams. "Tobias was kinda skeptical at first but then he said, ‘Hey, it might be fun.’ So you might see something like that in the future.”


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