NBA star Lou Williams has been forced to undergo 10 days of quarantine and will miss two games after improperly extending a family emergency leave.
Players from 22 NBA teams are housed in hotels and playing in a quarantine bubble at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, to resume the 2019-20 season.
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The restarted season gets back underway on Thursday after a March 11 shutdown for the COVID-19 pandemic.
Williams became the third Los Angeles Clippers player given a release for a family emergency, which has disrupted the practice and scrimmage sessions for the team as it prepares to return on Thursday against the LeBron James-led Los Angeles Lakers.
Williams flew home on Thursday to Atlanta to attend a viewing for the death of a family friend.
However he then went to Magic City - a strip club.
When photos of Williams wearing an NBA-issued face mask while with a rapper were posted on social media, it upset Clippers coach Doc Rivers, who has been scrambling to assemble a squad with absent talent.
“Those got out and that's something that we obviously didn't enjoy seeing or like,” Rivers said.
— Ahmed🇸🇴/Justice for Breonna & Elijah (@big_business_) July 24, 2020
That prompted an investigation by NBA security, and ultimately the 10-day ruling.
Williams visited a club that he has often described as being his favourite restaurant, and the establishment even has chicken wings that are named for him on the menu.
But by being in a group of people and potentially exposing himself to coronavirus, the NBA decided that a longer quarantine was what's required to ensure the safety of those in the bubble.
Players who exit the “bubble” are tested daily while outside the campus and must spend at least four days in quarantine in their hotel rooms upon their return, with medical experts able to stretch that quarantine time to 10 days if they feel it's required.
With Williams receiving the maximum isolation time starting on Saturday, he is assured of missing the Clippers opener against the Lakers and a game against New Orleans next Saturday.
Williams will also forfeit $150,000 in salary, Bobby Marks of ESPN reported ahead of the suspension.
LA Clippers struggling without key players
The Clippers have also excused Patrick Beverley and Montrezl Harrell for family emergencies in the past week.
The Clippers also had Ivica Zubac and Landry Shamet not with the team from the time it arrived in Orlando.
The Clippers were without stars Kawhi Leonard and Paul George for much of the prior part of the season due to injury recovery and rest.
At 44-20, the Clippers enter the restart second to the Lakers in the Western Conference.
All clubs will play eight games to complete the regular season, then begin the playoffs next month.
— Alexander (@alexinacoma) July 26, 2020
So lou Williams gets photographed at a club in Atlanta claiming to be picking up food and gets 10 day quarantine @nba bubble? He should be sent home 4 taking covid19 as a joke putting EVERYONE in jeopardy! @ShannonSharpe @RealSkipBayless @espn @stephenasmith @SHAQ @TheJetOnTNT
— KING DRE (@KINGDREtheOG) July 26, 2020
In all honesty and no joking, Lou Williams should not be allowed to play moving forward, and denied entering the bubble. What he did was embarrassing and willfully ignorant to his peers in the bubble who are sacrificing so much right now.
— 🌴⛱🌴 Waiters Island 🌴⛱🌴 (@mrbeches) July 25, 2020
Suspend him for the rest of the season. As a professional you should act accordingly in and out of the court. This should teach him a lesson for backstabbing his teammates. Lakers in 4.
— Sean🕊 (@SeanMG__) July 25, 2020