Grant Williams gets direct about 'media-created' beef with Mavericks

Grant Williams made sure to end the rumors about why he was traded from the Dallas Mavericks.
Apr 10, 2024; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Charlotte Hornets forward Grant Williams (2) controls the ball
Apr 10, 2024; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Charlotte Hornets forward Grant Williams (2) controls the ball / Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

When Grant Williams was first traded from the Dallas Mavericks to the Charlotte Hornets at February’s deadline, reports instantly flew around from national media suggesting he outstayed his welcome there in mere months.

Although Williams wasn’t the best on-court fit alongside the duo of Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving, it was suggested Williams was an annoyance within the locker room.

During his few-month tenure in Charlotte thus far, Williams has been anything but that becoming a key veteran voice in the Hornets’ young locker room.

Williams opened up to the Charlotte Observer this week about the supposed beef between he and Doncic, why his tenure with Dallas potentially ended so soon.

“I think it’s a media creation,” Williams said of his reported beef with Doncic. “I can text Luka today, and me and him are good. Before the game, we were talking. As much as I can say yes, of course, I’ll probably go at Luka a little bit, at the same time, we’ve known each four or five years. It’s not something he didn’t expect. He knows I’m a competitive guy and we always compete. So no matter what rumors are out there, we still have a respect for each other and talk.

It’s funny hearing all the things that come up when trades happen or when things don’t go well. It’s something I try to stay above and keep moving past that.”

Before being dealt to Charlotte, Williams reportedly was being an irritant to Doncic in practice. It led to Doncic going on his own 26-6 run against Williams, according to Mavericks Assistant GM Michael Finley.

“So, one day at practice, a player on our team — I won’t call his name out — but it was Grant Williams,” Finley said. “He decided he wanted to get under Luka’s skin. He felt Luka didn’t come that day ready to practice. So, to make a long story short, they had a scrimmage going and talking trash to Luka up and down the court. So, finally, Luka says okay and he went on a 26-6 run by himself.”

Williams alluded to how the mid-season adjustment from Dallas to Charlotte was a tedious one, especially after buying a home in Texas shortly after signing a new four-year deal.

“I feel like it wasn’t as tough going from Boston to Dallas,” Williams said. “I know the move was coming and had everything set up. I found a home within the first month or two. But the trade to Charlotte was more difficult. I know it was coming but an in-season trade is difficult for anyone.

Understand, you go from living in a house to now you’re living in a hotel. I purchased a home in Dallas rather than renting. I ended dup selling that home within the first three days of it being on the market and bought a one in Charlotte, which I plan on keeping.”

The 2023-24 season certainly was an interesting one for Williams. In 47 games for the Mavericks, Williams averaged 8.1 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.7 assists while shooing 37.6 percent on three-pointers. When Williams arrived in Charlotte, he produced his career-best stretch averaging 13.9 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.2 assists.

Williams will be a key rotational cog for the Hornets next season, whether that’s off the bench or in their starting lineup.

Unlike Dallas, Williams appears to have found a real long-term home here in Charlotte, a reunion for the North Carolina native.