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Clippers guard Lou Williams was asked about his signature No. 23 chain by former NBA star Nate Robinson. “Why are you so icy?” shouted the three-time Slam Dunk Champion. Williams calmly replied, “I just want to brighten everybody’s day.” The NBA journeyman has provided a lot of bright days for a total of six franchises in his 13-year career.
Lou Williams came into the league right out of South Gwinnett High School. The transition wasn’t easy. He averaged just 3.1 points per game in his first two seasons with the 76ers. But the Georgia native was able to play alongside Allen Iverson. It was an experience that he credits for much of his success today.
“I always just relished in the moment. I’ve learned a lot from A.I. He was always a competitor,” shared Williams. “How he was always attacked. Just preparing for any challenge. That’s one of the things that he brought to my career. That’s something that I’ve been able to do as well.”
Lou Williams has certainly accepted the challenge so far this season. The Clippers dealt Chris Paul to the Rockets in the offseason. Blake Griffin was shipped to the Pistons, just before the trade deadline.
Williams, known as a scoring threat off the bench throughout his career, has become the focal point of the Clippers’ offensive attack. “When one guy gets traded or one guy gets hurt, you have to have the next-man-up mentality and just move on,” says the 2015 Sixth Man of the Year.
Statistically, the shooting guard is having the best season of his career. He leads LA in points per game with 23.1, and he’s the team leader in assists with 5.4 a night. Williams credits the breakout season to his ability to evolve. “The game changes. Now you’ve got bigs playing that are 6’6, 6’7 stretching the floor. These guards are getting quicker, they’re getting stronger. So over the years I just try to evolve my game. Every year I try to add something. No matter what it is and I think that’s been one of the biggest things for me.”
In addition to adding to his skillset this season, Williams also secured a three-year contract extension worth $24 million. He never breaks stride from his calm demeanor when asked about the new deal. “I’m going to concentrate on me. There are some guys that I would like to have their bag, but I’m cool with mine.”
Perhaps Williams is more concerned with what’s ahead of him in Los Angeles. The Clippers are currently half a game behind the Nuggets for the eighth seed in the Western Conference playoffs. They are just two games shy of the Pelicans, who are perched in the fourth spot. “If a team has a bad week, it can put them in a bad spot. So everybody has to be tight. Especially with us,” says Williams.
The veteran guard has put his team on his back and salvaged the season thus far. He’s accomplished some great feats along the way. His four games of 40-points or more this season are nothing to take lightly. Especially when the Clippers have picked up a win in each of those matchups.
Lou Williams isn’t too concerned with any of that. “I just want to brighten everyone’s day.”