Lou Williams spoke for the first time as a member of the Atlanta Hawks, and it was a bit emotional.
Williams was traded to the Hawks for Rajon Rondo in a deal no one expected. He had considered retiring if was ever traded from the LA Clippers, and it was a statement he said numerous times. After taking some time to think about it, Williams decided not to retire.
“It took me a few days to get here because once I arrived, I wanted my energy to be positive,” Williams said in his first interview as a Hawk. “I wanted my experience to be positive. I didn’t want the guys to look at it like I didn’t want to be here. It wasn’t personal against the Hawks. I just needed time to figure out what was best for myself at this stage of my career, but now I’m here and I’ve been embraced. Seems as though guys want me here, so I’m ready to get back to work and make this push.”
The Clippers and Lou Williams had a very special bond together. He was a part of a team that had the greatest playoff comeback in NBA history against one of the most stacked teams in NBA history. Fans loved Lou Williams, and so did many players - especially Patrick Beverley. When Williams was traded, his reaction is was what you expected it would be.
Williams wanted to finish his career with the LA Clippers. He adopted the city of LA as home for both he and his family. Williams' time with the Clippers was arguably the greatest years of his career. He scored 4,975 points in four seasons off the bench for the LA Clippers. He scored 33% of his total 16-year career points, in 4 years with the Clippers. That's how much he elevated his game with them. He established a culture with Patrick Beverley and Montrezl Harrell.
“When you do something like that, you kind of feel emboldened, like you’re part of the culture that’s been created," Williams said. "I think we put a lot of things in place there that will carry on with a lot of the young guys that they brought in from Shai to Terance to Zubac. Those are guys that we put a lot of heart and just a lot of courage and confidence in those guys into how they should carry themselves as pros and we took a lot of pride in that, so for them to come in and for it to be time to move on, that was emotional for us all.”
Lou Williams will hold a special place in the hearts of Clipper fans. The man who dared to score 50 points against the Warriors and break the three-year losing streak against the Warriors. Cheers to the Underground GOAT.