NBA officials are investigating Los Angeles Clippers guard Lou Williams after a photo surfaced, allegedly showing him at an Atlanta strip club Thursday, in what would be a breach of the league’s coronavirus “bubble” regulations.
Williams was granted an excused absence from the Walt Disney World Resort — where scrimmage games recently began and where players are sequestered — in order to attend a funeral. But the NBA is reportedly now looking into Williams’ nighttime activity to see if he engaged in other high-risk behavior, ESPN reported.
The NBA has its players and other team personnel in a upscale quarantine to protect them from the virus as it prepares for regular-season play to resume July 30 — four months after the season was abruptly shut down in March due to coronavirus safety concerns.
Twenty-two of the league’s 30 teams have entered the “bubble,” which the NBA first announced July 13 would be a COVID-free zone.
Williams could potentially miss the Clippers’ opening game against the Los Angeles Lakers should the NBA find the player engaged in any other illicit activity during his absence from the bubble.
The NBA may choose to add additional time to William’s quarantine, preventing him from playing in the upcoming game.
Rapper Jack Harlow reportedly posted a photo to social media, showing himself and Williams at Atlanta’s Magic City gentlemen’s club Thursday night. The photo has since been deleted.
Harlow originally claimed the post was of an old photo, but Williams confirmed the photo was taken Thursday, ESPN reported. He told NBA security that no entertainers were inside the club at the time of his visit, the report said.
Bobby Marks, a reporter for ESPN, said Williams could lose out on $150,000 of his salary if he is found to have broken his quarantine.
“A 10-day quarantine would see Lou Williams miss 2 seeding games and forfeit up to $150K in salary. A four-day quarantine would have Williams back on the court by the July 30 first game,” Marks wrote in a tweet Saturday.
Williams told NBA officials that he visited the strip club after the funeral ended at 6 p.m. Thursday.