Fresh off a successful 2014/15 campaign in Toronto, where he averaged 15 points per game and earned the 6th Man of the Year award, Lou Williams came to Los Angeles to anchor the back court rotation alongside aging superstar Kobe Bryant and Sophomore phenom Jordan Clarkson. Lou signed a team friendly 3 year, $21 million deal with LA, and became an immediate difference maker offensively for a young Lakers squad that struggled to put points on the board on a regular basis.
After his first season in LA, it is clear that the signing (which had received significant criticism in the local media) was a good one, and that Lou Williams and the city of Los Angeles make a great pair. Below is a checklist of the many reasons why Lou was made for the Hollywood life and all that comes with it.
1). Unshakable confidence on and off the court, with a good sense of humor, but a “mamba-light” game time killer instinct.
In a city where everyone craves fame, Lou managed to keep a relatively low profile while still becoming a fan favorite at Staples Center. During the season, the familiar chant of “Looooooooooooouuuuuuuuuuu” often accompanied one of Williams’ timely 3 point shots, and the guard developed a reputation of putting defenders in the popcorn machine with a vast array of up-fakes, spin moves, and step back jumpers. Much like superstar Kobe Bryant, Lou demonstrated a strong work ethic and dedication throughout the season. His gritty style of play and veteran knowledge of the game helped him take advantage of weaknesses in the defenses of opposing teams, and create scoring opportunities for his teammates.
2). Active social media presence will fan engagement and two full time girlfriends?
Lou maintained his own Twitter account, instead of outsourcing to an assistant or PR person, and frequently engaged both fans and haters in active dialog. Lou’s desire and willingness to engage, mixed with a quick wit and sarcastic sense of humor shined on twitter during the season, and ingratiated him to the fan-base. Lou produced several “drop the mic” responses to the haters and trolls who filled up his timeline throughout the year, and won over many fans in the process.
Lou further established his “baller” status by bringing both of his girlfriends to games and team functions. In addition to points and assists, teammates and fans got to enjoy a taste of the music, food, and soul of Lou’s hometown of Memphis through his stories and distinct style.
3). Excellent basketball fit, coachable, and comfortable playing a secondary role when sharing the court with Kobe.
Check, check, check.
Heading into the season, some were concerned about whether or not a ball dominant guard like Williams could thrive with Kobe, who was also ball dominant. Lou answered that question thoroughly, acclimating quickly to his role in the rotation and working extremely hard to make the team better. Despite frequent changing of the scope and sequence of his role by team coach Byron Scott, Lou pushed through and was able to produce a solid season with excellent numbers and a definite impact in the win column.
Perhaps the most significant way that Lou fit in well with LA was on the court. Lou was able to provide a consistent scoring presence, often carrying the team offensively through games where Kobe sat out, or the young kids went through shooting slumps and other growing pains. Lou took a “Jack of All Trades” type role on the team, and was able to be a starter, 6th man, key reserve and even veteran leader when the situation required it. Unlike other big personalities on the team who may have allowed their “swag” to take precedence over their performance, Lou was able to live life to the fullest while maintaining a professional and dedicated focus on the game.
While it still remains to be seen if Lou Williams will become of part of the Lakers long term plans, it is clear that this fan favorite was born to become an adopted son of the city of Los Angeles.