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Clippers guard Lou Williams could be facing an extended stay in NBA quarantine after his excused absence for personal reasons to return home to Atlanta ended up with pictures of him at a strip club Thursday night.
The NBA is “looking into” Williams’ activities, two people who were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter said.
According to the NBA's health and safety rules, Williams could be quarantined in his hotel room up to 10 days if it’s recommended by the league’s outside infectious disease specialist.
Clippers coach Doc Rivers told reporters Saturday on a videoconference call that Williams was indeed back in Orlando, Fla., and that the organization wasn’t happy that pictures surfaced of Williams at a strip club.
“I can’t share much with his journey because I wasn’t on that journey with him,” Rivers said. “But he’s back here, I call tell you that much. And obviously those got out and that’s something we obviously didn’t enjoy seeing or liked.”
Williams will have to clear quarantine now that he has returned to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, and his length of being out will depend on whether Williams returns negative tests for every day that he was gone, according to the rules.
Williams was photographed at the Atlanta strip club Thursday night by rapper Jack Harlow, who eventually deleted the post from his Instagram account.
Harlow tweeted Friday: “That was an old pic of me and Lou. I was just reminiscing cuz I miss him.”
But when the pictures became public, Williams posted on his Twitter account Friday, “Ask any of my teammates what’s my favorite restaurant in Atlanta is. Ain’t nobody partying. Chill out lol #Maskon#inandout.”
With Williams out, the Clippers were missing a total of five players for their scrimmage against the Washington Wizards on Saturday.
Harrell indicated that he’ll be joining the Clippers soon, posting on his Instagram story, “see you soon #Orlando.”
Starting center Ivica Zubac joined the Clippers in the bubble Friday and is now in the league quarantine protocol.
Guard Landry Shamet posted a picture of himself on his Twitter account Saturday, showing him on a private plane on a flight to Orlando.
Shamet will have to quarantine for at least 48 hours and pass two more coronavirus tests after he arrives in the bubble in Orlando.
So that left the Clippers with just 10 players to face the Wizards, but they still came away with a 105-100 victory.
“It’s a challenge. You know, we only have 10 guys,” Rivers said via Zoom after the Clippers came out on top in their second straight scrimmage. “That makes it really challenging. There’re no breaks in practice so you tend not to go as long. You feel like you don’t get half the stuff that you want to get in. So, no, it’s been a challenge. I’d love to say it hasn’t been, but it’s been a definite challenge.”
The Clippers’ final scrimmage is Monday against the Sacramento Kings. When they open the restart to the NBA season Thursday against the Lakers, they don’t know if they’ll be whole with a 15-man roster.