Los Angeles Clippers guard Lou Williams will miss at least two NBA restart games while serving a 10-day quarantine 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 Thursday after a March 11 shutdown for the COVID-19 pandemic.
Williams became the third 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 Thursday against the LeBron James-led Los Angeles Lakers.
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 Saturday, he is assured of missing the Clippers opener against the Lakers and a game against New Orleans next Saturday.
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.
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.