Lou Williams Said Clippers' Choice on Joining Restart Was 'Everybody or Nobody'

Blake SchusterAnalyst IJuly 11, 2020

Los Angeles Clippers' Lou Williams (23) drives toward the basket against the Houston Rockets during the first half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, March 5, 2020, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
David J. Phillip/Associated Press

The Los Angeles Clippers roster came to an agreement before heading to Orlando, Florida, for the NBA's restart: Either the whole team plays or nobody does.

The decision was detailed by guard Lou Williams, who told ESPN's Ohm Youngmisuk he was split on returning to play.

Ohm Youngmisuk @NotoriousOHM

Lou Williams was "50-50" on playing but said Clips voted as team to play: "We decided our decision was going to be everybody or nobody...We decided to come as a group. I'm part of the group. I have a lot of thoughts, ideas I felt strongly about personally but I represent a group"

Los Angeles entered the March 11 NBA hiatus with a record of 44-20 and holding on to second place in the Western Conference. Had one player opted out, it could have knocked out one of the top title contenders from resuming play in Florida.

True to their word, all of the Clippers stars have begun settling into their new home at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

Paul George led his teammates onto the campus Wednesday, and Kawhi Leonard is currently in quarantine protocol in Florida awaiting clearance to rejoin practice, per head coach Doc Rivers.

While the decision for the Clippers may have been all or nothing, it's clear there isn't a consensus on the "right or wrong" way to navigate playing through a pandemic. Multiple players on title hopefuls have opted out for numerous reasons.

Los Angeles Lakers guard Avery Bradley opted out because one of his children has a history of struggling to recover from respiratory illnesses, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. Indiana Pacers star Victor Oladipo decided to stay home to continue rehabbing a ruptured quad tendon. Dallas Mavericks big man Willie Cauley-Stein and his partner are expecting a new baby in July, and he didn't want to risk being away.

There are no easy decisions here, but the Clippers were steadfast in making theirs as a group.

That shouldn't come as a huge surprise given Rivers' emphasis on the South African concept of "Ubuntu," meaning, in essence, "I am because we are." Rivers has used the concept in his previous stop with the Boston Celtics and continues to embrace the idea with the Clippers.

Los Angeles currently has the third-best odds to win the championship during the restart at +325 (bet $100 to win $325), per Caesars Palace. If it happens, it'll be because they decided weeks earlier they wouldn't want to chase a ring unless all their teammates were with them.