Jay-Z Influenced Lou Williams’ NBA Draft Decision


Lou Williams, a three-time NBA Sixth Man Of The Year, officially announced his retirement from the league on Father’s Day. His daughter narrated the announcement in an Instagram video, expressing her happiness that her father has found peace with his decision. She also mentioned how he was a young dreamer from South Gwinnett and was drafted straight from high school, eager to make a name for himself.

Interestingly, it was revealed that Jay-Z played a significant role in Williams’ draft placement. Instead of playing at the University of Georgia first, Williams went 45th overall to the Philadelphia 76ers in the second round of the 2005 NBA Draft directly from South Gwinnett High School.

In a recent episode of The Starting Five podcast presented by DraftKings, Williams shared the story behind his decision. He recalled a night when LeBron James and Maverick Carter introduced him to Jay-Z. After spending the evening with the hip-hop mogul, Williams went back to school the next day with a different perspective. He realized that he didn’t fit in with his classmates and had experienced new things that made him believe that sitting in another classroom was not the path for him.

Williams spent the first seven seasons of his career with the Philadelphia 76ers before signing with his hometown team, the Atlanta Hawks, in free agency. He played for the Hawks from 2012 to 2014 and ultimately ended his career in Atlanta, appearing in 56 games during the 2021-2022 season. Throughout his career, Williams also had stints with the Toronto Raptors, Los Angeles Lakers, Houston Rockets, and Los Angeles Clippers.

For more details, you can watch the full episode of The Starting Five above.


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