Lou Williams given 10-day quarantine, cutting into NBA restart, after strip club trip


Los Angeles Clippers star Lou Williams will be required to complete a 10-day quarantine upon arrival back in the NBA bubble in Orlando, Florida, the league announced Sunday.

Williams left the site on an excused absence after his grandfather died, but was photographed at Magic City, a strip club in Atlanta. He said he was picking up food.

Quarantine forces Williams to miss two games

The move will sideline him two of the eight regular season games that begin next week. On a regularly excused absence, as long as the player tests negative for the COVID-19 coronavirus every day while away, he would be quarantined for only four days.

In that case, he would have made it for the Clippers’ opening game on Thursday against the Los Angeles Lakers. Instead, he will miss that game and a Saturday matchup against the New Orleans Pelicans.

Clippers coach Doc Rivers told reporters that Williams was back on campus as of Saturday, meaning he’ll likely end his quarantine on Aug. 3 and could return for the Aug. 4 game against the Phoenix Suns.

Williams will also forfeit up to $150,000 in salary, Bobby Marks of the ESPN reported ahead of the suspension.

Williams’ approved trip turns into problematic saga

Los Angeles guard Lou Williams, with his hands on his head.
Los Angeles guard Lou Williams will miss the team's first two games of the restart after he was seen at a strip club in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

The 15-year veteran left the bubble on Thursday to attend a viewing for his grandfather, Paul G. Williams. It reportedly ended around 6 p.m. and he was later seen on Instagram stories at Magic City, a strip club in Atlanta.

At first Williams said it was an old photo. He then pivoted and admitted he visited the location, but was there to pick up food.

The NBA announced late Saturday night it would investigate Williams’ activities while away from the bubble to assess how long he should stay in quarantine upon returning. Its outside infectious disease specialists can recommend a longer quarantine period, ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne reported, if it determines the player poses a higher risk of getting COVID-19 while he was away.

What does Williams’ quarantine mean for Clippers?

The Clippers (44-20) are short-handed in the bubble with several players on excused absences.

Williams, 33, is averaging 18.7 points and 5.7 assists per game off the bench for the second-place Western Conference team.

In addition to Williams, Montrezl Harrell, Patrick Beverley, Landry Shamet and Ivica Zubac are all either away or currently in quarantine. All five players are either starters or key bench players.

Zubac returned to the bubble on Friday and had a two-day quarantine, Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes reported. Shamet is also apparently en route.

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Originally published