Last season ended poorly for Lou Williams. He suffered a personal loss while in the bubble and then made the mistake of violating NBA protocol to get chicken wings while he was in Atlanta. When he got back on the court, he wasn’t impactful enough in the second-round loss to Denver.
After the playoffs ended, he said his team was pissed off. Some of his teammates may still be holding on to that residual anger, but Williams wants to let that go, as he told the media in his first availability of the season Monday.
“I think we’ve moved on from last year,” Williams said. “It’s a fresh start, we’re prepared to compete for a championship again with this group. So in order for us to move on, we kinda got to let that go, give ourselves an opportunity to have a fresh start and move forward.”
Williams will be moving forward without the coach who convinced him to keep going in his NBA career, the one who unleashed him to become the highest-scoring reserve in league history. He’ll also be moving on without his pick-and-roll partner, Montrezl Harrell. The duo of Williams and Harrell was the heart of the Clippers. They played 1388 minutes together last year; no other Clipper played even 1000 minutes with Williams during the regular season.
Williams didn’t seem to want to linger on Harrell’s departure when asked Monday. He simply said, “Business is business. Trezz made a decision for himself in that aspect. Things happen, and you move on from it.”
There have been rumors that LA was considering moving on from Williams himself this offseason. Williams is presently the longest-tenured Clipper along with Patrick Beverley, though Williams has played 84 more games than his backcourt mate over the past three seasons. That sentimentality apparently hasn’t dissuaded the front office from looking for an upgrade at the guard position who can also play some defense.
Williams can also choose to leave the Clippers after this season as an unrestricted free agent. He says he hasn’t given much thought to his future, merely focusing on his chance to win a championship with this current team.
“I really didn’t hear a lot of the noise,” Williams said. “My job is to come in and compete on a team that I’m playing for, and be a professional. Other than that, I can’t deal with things that I can’t control.”
For now, the sixth man is once again in a Clippers uniform, ready to start a new chapter with this team. Whatever drama Williams team dealt with last season and in the offseason is behind him. Their relationship may be a bit more tenuous than it has been before, but Williams and the Clippers are still moving forward together.