Lou Williams says he plans to retire after this season

Drafted in 2005, 35-year-old Atlanta Hawks shooter Lou Williams says that the 2021-22 NBA season may be his last before retirement. 

Lou Williams is more than a veteran of the NBA. In Williams’ own words, he is a “jarhead” of the league, putting in 16 seasons as a professional basketball player.

And after a shocking trade from the Clippers to the Hawks, Williams feels like he may have had enough of battling it out on the court.

In an exclusive interview with Bleacher Report’s Taylor Rooks, Williams detailed how the surprise Clippers trade was a breaking point for him. Williams reportedly cried after being traded, and as he tells Rooks, he feels like his current season in Atlanta could be the last of his career.

“In that moment, it was just closure,” Williams said of the March mid-season trade. “I got drafted when I was 17, so I’m a jarhead. This is all I know. This is all I’ve ever known, as far as a career path. I’ve always been a basketball player, I’ve always known the structure of being in the NBA. You always think you’re prepared until it’s reality, and I know this is probably my last season, I’ll say that publicly, but I said it last time, so who knows?”

Rooks followed up to confirm whether or not this was Williams’ last season. “Potentially,” he responded.

“I have the clarity; I’m okay with that. But I’m also okay with continuing to play, if that’s where it takes me. I’m prepared for the worst.”

Lou Williams opens up about Clippers trade and potential retirement in Taylor Rooks interview

For those who have followed Williams’ storied career, the notion that he would retire if traded away from the Clippers isn’t necessarily news.

Williams has stated over the years that he would retire if traded from the Clippers, who he joined in 2017 after a quick stint with the Houston Rockets.

During his interview with Rooks, which lasts 45 minutes in its entirety, Williams admitted that he cried after being traded away from L.A.

“I kinda cried a little bit… I just felt like I had put so much time, energy, and effort into creating this special place in LA. I felt like I owed that to the Clipper fans. I wanted to do that for that fanbase.”

The day after he was traded, Williams captioned an Instagram photo with the following: “I thought about retiring yesterday.”

But Williams didn’t retire, continuing on to start in two Eastern Conference Finals games as he reached the Finals for the first time in his career.

Williams is now on his seventh NBA team as he plays before his hometown of Atlanta. Whether it’s this season or next, the NBA veteran has put his heart and soul into the game for decades, building an impressive resume for a basketball jarhead.

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