Lou Williams will spend the next 10 days in his Walt Disney World Orlando hotel room in quarantine after the league ruled that his visit to a strip while outside the bubble exposed him too many people not subject to the same safety protocols.
That means Williams will miss two seeding games — at least, he comes out on the day of a third game and will need to get his conditioning up again — and it will cost him $150,000 in salary. Not having the reigning Sixth Man of the Year — who averaged 18.7 points a game this season — will hurt the Clippers in those games, but Los Angeles has adjusted all season to guys being out.
Williams was granted permission to leave the NBA’s restart bubble in Orlando for personal reasons, and posted on Instagram about attending a memorial service for a family member.
However, while out he detoured by the Magic City strip club in Atlanta, where rapper Jack Harlow posted a picture with Williams on his Instagram story Thursday night. Harlow quickly deleted it, but nothing dies on the Internet (the rapper then claimed it was an old photo, but Williams is wearing a mask given out by the league to players in the bubble, so that was shot down).
Williams owned up to being in the club to NBA investigators, reports Ramona Shelburne of ESPN. Williams told NBA investigators he stopped in for dinner — the club does sell “LouWill lemon pepper BBQ wings” — however, the league’s concern was not the food or what goes on in the club, it’s the other people in a confined indoor space who were not following the same safety protocols Williams was supposed to be observing.
Bottom line, if Richaun Holmes got 10 days of quarantine for just crossing the bubble boundary to meet a food delivery guy, no way the league would let Lou Williams slide after visiting a strip club.
It’s a warning to other players allowed to leave the bubble for personal reasons, although the takeaway from the players may be to make sure they don’t end up on social media if they do anything while out.