Veteran NBA guard Lou Williams started his professional career in 2005 when he was a second-round pick out of high school. With the 45th overall pick of the 2005 NBA Draft, Williams was selected by the Philadelphia 76ers.
For seven seasons, Williams was a reliable reserve guard for the Sixers. After his stint in Philadelphia, the veteran packed up in free agency and inked a deal with the Atlanta Hawks. After spending two seasons in Atlanta, Williams went on to have stints with the Toronto Raptors, Los Angeles Lakers, and the Houston Rockets, before landing with the Clippers in 2017.
At the time, Williams was hesitant to play with the Clippers after he was moved during the 2017 offseason. As he went through multiple trades, Williams admitted he didn’t want to play for Doc Rivers and the Clippers. However, the former Clippers head coach convinced the sharpshooting guard to buy in.
Years later, Williams makes it clear that his time with the Clippers was “by far” the best he felt in his long and successful playing career — and he issues credit to Rivers for that on The Draymond Green Show.
“If you know Doc, he don’t hold no punches,” Williams said. “He like, ‘I ain’t feeling [your energy]. You don’t wanna be here?’ I said, ‘I don’t. I got traded twice in six months. No, y’all weren’t on my radar.’ I wasn’t a big Clippers fan. … He like, ‘Look, we reset and we reenergizing. I don’t know what else I need to tell you but this is gonna be your home. I’m gonna allow you to be yourself. And we’re gonna do something special here.’ Doc told me that Day 1. For whatever reason, I believed him. For whatever reason, I bought in. And my Clippers run is by far the best I’ve felt playing basketball in my entire career.”
Part of the reason why the Sixers wanted to hire Rivers following his seven-year run with the Clippers was due to the fact that he was recognized as a “players coach.”
The praise sent Rivers’ way by Williams just proves that even more.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for All76ers, a Sports Illustrated channel. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.