While NBA Twitter was joking that Lou Williams had been traded so he could be closer to his favorite wings spot, the player himself was taking stock of his career and what had just happened.
Williams — who the Clippers traded to the Hawks for Rajon Rondo — said on Instagram he considered retiring after the trade.
“I thought about retiring yesterday. You give so much to an organization and you wake up and boom, it’s no more. Then in true clipper nation fashion I was reminded that my talent and contribution was appreciated and It made me reflect on what’s to come. There’s plenty left in my tank and I’m privileged to continue my career in my backyard.”
As fans, we too often think about trades in a fantasy basketball sense, we want the rush transactions and are excited by the possibilities, and we forget the human side. Williams had been with the Clippers for four years, he had relationships built in the organization and the city, and suddenly he had to uproot and pack up his life, moving three-quarters of the way across the country overnight. Understandably, he hit pause for a minute when the news came down.
Williams’ numbers and efficiency have taken a step back this season, although how much of that is age (he’s 34) and how much of that is a changed role and not having Montrezl Harrell as a pick-and-roll partner, is up for debate.
The man can still get buckets — Williams is scoring 12.1 points a game and shooting 37.8% from three. His handles are still slick, and the man can create space. He will help Atlanta’s bench — the Hawks get outscored by 3.1 points per 100 possessions when Trae Young is sitting — and be popular both in the locker room and in the city.
Williams does still have something left in the tank, and he remains an entertaining player to watch. It’s a good thing for hoops fans everywhere he is not retiring.