L.A. Notes: Williams, Clippers, Magic, AD

Clippers guard and reigning Sixth Man of the Year Lou Williams, 33, tells Stadium’s Shams Charania in an exclusive video sitdown that he considered retirement in the summer of 2017. After being traded from the Lakers to the Rockets to the Clippers within the span of a few months, Williams felt like his NBA days were numbered.

“I was done,” Williams said. “[I was on] three teams in six months. You know, you kind of look around and you’ve got to be realistic with yourself… When guys [are] getting bounced around, you know, eventually it’s going to stop bouncing and you’re going to be sitting around waiting for a phone call.” Williams would go on to win the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year award in each of his two seasons with the Clippers, and is a frontrunner thus far this year.

Thus far, Williams boasts averages 19.9 PPG, 6.3 APG and 3.2 RPG for the Clippers. He is shooting 36.8% from beyond the three-point line and 83.8% from the free-throw line.

Williams credits Clippers head coach Doc Rivers with reassuring him that he was valued in Los Angeles. “I had a conversation with Doc. He was like, ‘I don’t know what these other teams are thinking, but we need you, and you can get comfortable, [you’re going to] be here.'”

There’s more out of Los Angeles:

  • Former Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson tells Los Angeles Times columnist Bill Plaschke that the 24-4 Lakers, who have retained just six players from the 2018/19 season, “would not be in the position [they’re] in without me.” Johnson infamously quit the position on television ahead of the Lakers’ final regular season game. “This was my strategy, this is what I thought we’d be in three years,” he tells Plaschke. “I knew we were on the right track. Everybody wanted to do it their way, but I’m good with who I am. … I think people respect what I’ve done for the team.”
  • The Clippers‘ forthcoming Inglewood arena has been given the fast-track green-light by California governor Gavin Newsom on December 13, according to Nathan Fenno of the Los Angeles Times. California’s Joint Legislative Budget Committee has 30 days from the date of the Newsom certification to approve the signing.
  • During a First Take interview with ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, Lakers All-Star power forward Anthony Davis was careful to note that his team’s hot start has not altered his noncommittal stance on his impending 2020 free agency. “We’ll see what happens at the end of the season,” Davis told Smith. “I’m trying to stay in the moment and worry about [free agency] when the season’s over.”
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