Like many men, Lou Williams only realized after leaving a strip club that he could have made a better decision.
Speaking for the first time since a visit to the gentleman’s club Magic City necessitated Williams to quarantine for 10 days in the NBA bubble in Orlando, the Clippers guard stuck to his story that he only visited one of his favorite Atlanta establishments to dine, following the nearby viewing of a mentor, whose death prompted Williams to leave the NBA site.
While the reigning Sixth Man of the Year accepted blame for compromising the safety of himself and others during his excused absence, he also recognized his choice of venue is what made him a punchline.
“In hindsight, I think as far as the public safety issue goes, I probably could have made a better-quality decision,” Williams said. “I was a little naive in that aspect. I went somewhere after a viewing of somebody I considered a mentor, somebody I looked up to, first Black man I seen with legal money in my life.
“It’s extremely difficult, man,” Williams added. “I truly was grieving two weeks ago. I was really going through something. I was thrown under the bus, you know what I’m saying? … All the attention turned to Magic City because it’s a gentleman’s club. I feel like if I was at a steakhouse or Hooters or whatever it wouldn’t be half the story.”
It wouldn’t. But Williams wouldn’t let a pandemic keep him from one of his favorite wing spots.
“It’s been documented how much I talk about this place, how much I eat there,” said Williams, who had seven points, six assists and six rebounds in his return against the Suns. “I just did something that was routine for me. I frequent that place at that time if day, 5:30, 6 in the afternoon.
“At the time I thought I was making a responsible decision. After looking back on it either everything going on in the world, the pandemic, maybe it wasn’t the best-quality decision. I chalk it up as that, take my L and move on.”
Teammates Patrick Beverly and Montrezl Harrell also left the bubble within days of each other. Though Beverly is back, Harrell has been gone nearly three weeks, following the death of his grandmother.
Williams mourned, too, his friend’s father, Paul G. Williams.
“I truly was grieving two weeks ago. I was really going through something,” Williams said. “People are going to say their things. Imaginations are going to run wild. You deal with these things and keep moving.”