Speaking to Taylor Rooks of Bleacher Report (video link) about his NBA career, Hawks guard Lou Williams said that 2021/22 is “probably my last season.” However, Williams admitted that he thought the same thing last season and continued playing.
“Potentially,” Williams said when pressed by Rooks about whether he intends to retire after the current season. “I have the clarity, I’m OK with that. But I’m also OK with continuing to play if that’s where it takes me. I’m prepared for the worst.”
It doesn’t sound like Williams has made any decisions yet, but the fact that he’s even discussing retirement is noteworthy. The three-time Sixth Man of the Year just turned 35 last Wednesday, and some of his contemporaries have talked about wanting to play into their 40s. It doesn’t sound like the 17th-year guard expects his playing career to last anywhere near that long.
Williams, who entered the NBA as a second-round pick in 2005, has averaged double-digit points per game for 14 straight seasons, but has gotten off to a slow start this fall, averaging 6.3 PPG and 0.5 APG on .381/.333/1.000 shooting in four games for Atlanta.
While there’s plenty of time to increase those numbers, Williams’ limited playing time so far (12.3 MPG, two DNP-CDs) suggests he likely won’t have a major role for the Hawks this season. He’ll be a free agent in 2022 when his one-year, $5MM deal with the club expires.