NBA

Lou Williams talks about the history of the Magic City strip club in NBA Bubble

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Veteran NBA guard Lou Williams hasn’t always adopted his nickname “Lemon Pepper Lou.”

On the latest episode of ‘The Draymond Green Show,’ Williams discussed the name narrative and said it was “difficult” for him to deal with the backlash of his infamous visit to Magic City during NBA bubble season. 2020.

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“It was tough for me, because I felt like I was getting to a point where everything I’ve accomplished, how I’ve fared on my career, they were just trying to attach wacky stuff to my name,” said Williams, who is a free agent after finishing last season with the Hawks. The Clippers traded Williams to Atlanta for Rajon Rondo in March 2021.

“So I was fighting a narrative. I was fighting a story, because they were trying to make me look like an idiot. Like I was here tripping, ‘And I was like, ‘Come on, that was never my MO. Let’s not start that.’ I am coming to the end of my career. I’m in 15th grade, and you all talk like I’ve been tripping all this time.

Williams is a free agent after finishing last season with the Hawks.
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Williams had to quarantine in the NBA bubble for a period of 10 days in July 2020 after making a pit stop at the Magic City strip club in Atlanta for dinner. The incident — which stemmed from an excused absence to attend the funeral of his mentor, Paul G. Williams — caused him to miss two of the Clippers’ regular-season seeding games.

“The history of the chicken wings… When I go there, if I don’t go to the strip club, I’m going to get myself some chicken wings, so when you said it, I knew what it was,” Green said.

“None of us were pandemic experts at the time. Nobody, and therefore everything I did that day, I thought I did responsibly and that shit took on a life of its own,” Williams said.

Williams, who is originally from Atlanta, is a frequent visitor to Magic City, which has a wing named after him called “Louwill Lemon Pepper BBQ.” He trademarked “Lemon Pepper Lou” in September 2020.

The trip to Magic City received backlash as it was against the league’s COVID-19 policy at the time. The NBA investigated the matter after a now viral picture of Williams showed him wearing a mask in Magic City with rapper Jack Harlow during his excused absence.

“Lemon Pepper is here to stay and I fought him for a minute because of the way people were trying to perceive me, like ‘I escaped the bubble to go to Magic City. I was like, ‘Come on man,'” Williams said. “That was my only thing trying to navigate the narrative behind my decision. Was it a good decision? In hindsight, probably not. But at the time, I didn’t think I was tripping, I didn’t think I was doing anything wrong. I could see it both ways.

Williams had to quarantine in the NBA bubble for a period of 10 days and miss two of the Clippers' regular season seeding games.
Williams had to quarantine in the NBA bubble for a period of 10 days in July 2020 and missed two of the Clippers’ regular season seeding games.
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Williams said he took his 10-day quarantine “like a man” and “didn’t fight” the league’s decision.

“[NBA Commissioner] Adam [Silver] called me directly and said “we’re going to give you 10 days of quarantine because it doesn’t look good”. I said ‘Yes sir’ and hung up,” Williams said.

Williams – three-time Sixth Man of the Year – reportedly insisted he was picking up takeout at Magic City at the time.

“I was really grieving two weeks ago. I was going through something and then I got thrown under the bus,” Williams said in August 2020. “All attention turned to Magic City because it’s a gentlemen’s club. I feel like if I was in a steakhouse or Hooters or whatever, that wouldn’t be half the story. But it is what it is.

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