NBA Season Restart 2019-20

Lou Williams makes restart debut vs. Suns

LA Clippers super-sub Lou Williams made his NBA restart debut against the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday, playing 20 minutes in a 117-115 loss.

Williams had seven points, six assists and six rebounds in his restart debut after missing the first two games. Williams had to quarantine for 10 days after visiting a strip club in Atlanta after he was granted permission to leave the Disney bubble for a family member’s funeral.

He said he could have made a better decision, but that he thinks it became a bigger story that it needed to be because of where he went.

”At the end of the day, I was truly grieving two weeks ago,” he said. ”I was thrown under the bus, and the attention was thrown to Magic City. If I went to a steakhouse or Hooters, it wouldn’t have been a story.”

Williams has been in quarantine for the last 10 days because of his trip out of the Walt Disney World bubble in Orlando to attend a family member’s funeral. The issue, per the NBA, was not that Williams left the bubble but that he went to a club on that trip to Atlanta.

Photographs of that visit — with him wearing a type of mask the NBA distributed inside its campus at Disney World — appeared on social media. That prompted an investigation by NBA security, and ultimately the 10-day ruling. Williams visited a club that he has often described as being his favorite restaurant, and the establishment even has chicken wings that are named for him on the menu.

But by being in a group of people and potentially exposing himself to coronavirus, the NBA decided that a longer quarantine was what’s required to ensure the safety of those in the bubble.

Williams is a Sixth Man of the Year candidate this season, averaging 18.7 points this season for the Clippers entering Tuesday’s game. The Clippers have secured a playoff spot and are second in the Western Conference, 6 1/2 games behind the Lakers and one game ahead of third-place Denver.

Clippers big man Montrezl Harrell has been absent from the NBA campus due to an excused personal matter since mid-July. Rivers said Tuesday that there is no update on Harrell’s status or his return to the campus.

The Clippers are 1-2 so far in Orlando, losing to the rival Lakers in their first game, beating the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday and then losing to Phoenix on Tuesday.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.