Lou Williams’ quarantine after picking up chicken wings is over.
Williams cleared his mandatory 10-day NBA bubble quarantine and played 20 minutes off the bench in the Los Angeles Clippers’ 117-115 loss to the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday. Williams had to quarantine because he went to the Magic City strip club in Atlanta while he was out of the bubble in an excused absence for his grandfather’s funeral.
Williams is a pivotal part of the Clippers’ bench. The reigning NBA Sixth Man of the Year is averaging nearly 19 points and six assists per game and forms a fantastic pick-and-roll combination with forward Montrezl Harrell. The Louwill Lemon Pepper Wings on the Magic City menu are also named for him.
Williams dropped seven points and had six rebounds and six assists in the loss.
“In hindsight, I think as far as the public safety issue goes, I probably could’ve made a better quality decision,” Williams said, via USA Today. “I was a little naive in that aspect.”
The decision to visit the strip club, he was, was simply “routine.”
“I just did something that was routine for me. I frequent that place at that time, 5:30-6 o’clock in the afternoon,” Williams said, via USA Today. “At the time, I thought I was making a responsible decision. After looking back on it with everything going on in the world with the pandemic, maybe it wasn’t the best quality decision. So I chalk it up to that, take my ‘L’ and keep moving.”
How long was Williams there?
Williams’ trip to Magic City publicly surfaced after a picture of him at the club wearing a mask was posted to social media. While the “old picture” excuse was initially attempted, it became obvious that Williams had gone to the club to, at the very least, pick up some of its famed wings.
Williams might have done more than just pick up wings at Magic City, however. A dancer told the Los Angeles Times that she socially distanced performed for Williams while he was at the club and that he “tipped very well.”
The guard has said that Magic City is his favorite restaurant in Atlanta, but the trip cost him six extra days in quarantine. Had he not been spotted at Magic City getting wings, he would have just needed to quarantine for four days upon returning to the bubble.
But the NBA extended that quarantine to 10 days because Williams’ trip to Magic City was not part of his initial excused absence. That meant he missed the Clippers’ restart loss to the Lakers on Thursday and the team’s blowout win over New Orleans on Saturday.
“I truly was grieving two weeks ago. I was going through something and then I was thrown under the bus,” Williams said, via USA Today. “Everything 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 probably wouldn’t have been half the story. But it is what it is. It was difficult to go through that.”
The loss to the Lakers — and the Lakers’ win over New Orleans on Monday — meant that the Lakers have clinched the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference. The Clippers are likely destined for the No. 2 seed, which means that the two Los Angeles teams won’t meet until the conference finals if they meet in the playoffs.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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