After clearing his 10-day quarantine, Los Angeles Clippers guard Lou Williams will be available to play against the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday night, Doc Rivers said prior to the game. Williams, who had to quarantine for 10 days inside the Orlando bubble after picking up food at a strip club in Atlanta during an excused absence for a family matter, missed the Clippers first two seeding games while quarantined.
Williams left the Orlando bubble to attend a funeral last month, but photos of him at a gentlemen’s club in Atlanta also appeared on social media. Rapper Jack Harlow posted a photo of himself and Williams whiched showed the two hanging out. Harlow quickly deleted the post, but not before it had been widely shared.
Harlow then tried to cover their tracks. “That was an old pick of me and Lou,” he wrote on Twitter. “I was just reminiscing cuz I miss him.” He quickly deleted that Tweet as well. With the evidence mounted against him, Williams told NBA security that he did in fact visit Magic City gentlemen’s club, according to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne. However, he claims he was just there to pick up dinner.
Players who leave the bubble for excused absences, as Williams did, are required to quarantine for at least four days upon returning to Disney. That, however, is the minimum amount of time, and also requires that they return negative COVID-19 tests every day they are gone, and are not in any high-risk environments. The Clippers were understandably upset with Williams’ decision, with head coach Doc Rivers saying that he “didn’t enjoy” seeing it.
The NBA’s bubble environment has been successful so far because everyone has followed the procedures, but all it takes is one person slipping up like Williams for COVID-19 to spread and get a bunch of people sick, and possibly even shut down the whole operation.
That’s why the league was so diligent in its investigation, and also why it wasn’t a surprise that Williams got an extended 10-day quarantine period. Yes, it was inconvenient for him and the Clippers, but it’s better to be safe than sorry when you’re dealing with a potentially deadly virus.