Lou Williams was a shoo-in to win his third Sixth Man of the Year trophy Monday at the 2019 NBA Awards show. Despite wonderful seasons from his teammate Montrezl Harrell and other candidates across the league, the honor was never in doubt.
When he was speaking to the media after winning the award, Williams revealed that he came into this season with the goal of being Sixth Man of the Year to make history, knowing that his third award would tie him with Jamal Crawford for most all-time.
“This one was different because I kind of went into the season wanting this one. In years past, I always just played and I lived with whatever happened. I wanted this one — I felt like this one was going to be a legacy piece. If I was going to go out of the game and be considered a Sixth Man, that would be my MO. I wanted to tie Jamal [Crawford], I wanted to be at the top of Mount Rushmore with him. This year it was more focused on going out there and getting this one.”
Williams has previously spoken about how getting traded the Clippers originally seemed like a death sentence for his career, but the opportunity to play for this team under Doc Rivers ended up giving him new life. He reiterated that Monday night.
“Four years ago I thought I was done. I thought I was coming to the end of the road in my career. I came to LA, and I was in an environment where I felt revitalized, and I felt I had something to prove.
“That last season, when I got traded from Houston to the Clippers, I reached out to some of my friends and family and basically I was like, this is my last season. I think I’m going to call it quits.
“So it turned into my own little secret farewell party, only my close friends and family knew what my mindset was, and then coming to LA and having an opportunity to win another Sixth Man, it gave me that boost. I really needed that. To get another one this year, I’m extremely honored, and I look forward to the future.”
Williams took the opportunity to thank his teammate Montrezl Harrell, a fellow nominee who wasn’t in attendance but congratulated Williams on Instagram, as well as the rest of the organization for creating a place for him “to call home”.
So many players in the NBA balk at playing off the bench, but Williams has embraced the path of being a Sixth Man and turned it into his legacy. He has a full verse from Drake, he is universally beloved within the league, and he is so cool that he left the awards show an hour early to get to his after-party on time.
The Clippers are very fortunate to have Lou Williams, and he realizes his good fortune in ending up in Los Angeles at the perfect moment in his career. Now, he’ll go down in history as a member of this franchise.