Lou Williams, all-time leading scorer off the bench, retires from NBA

One of the most selfless yet lethal players in NBA history is hanging up his kicks after 17 seasons in the league. 

Lou Williams, the three-time Sixth Man of the Year and all-time leading scorer off the bench, announced that he won’t be lacing them up in the league anymore. 

Being that it is Father’s Day, Williams’ daughter narrated the video announcing his retirement, which covered his entire journey through the league. 

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Lou Williams shoots

Lou Williams of the Hawks shoots against the Brooklyn Nets at State Farm Arena on April 2, 2022, in Atlanta. (Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)

“You’ve had a lot of thoughts over these few years,” she began. “Finally, today, I’m happy you’ve found peace with your decision.

“Sixth Man became your calling card. A role you not only owned but made it to be a lifestyle.”

In a league full of star players in starting fives across the country, Williams was known as the lethal scoring weapon off the bench. He scored 13,396 of his career 15,593 points off the bench. The next-best is Jamal Crawford’s 11,279 points. 

Williams eclipsed 1,123 games, starting just 122 of them, over his 17 years with six different teams, beginning his career with the Philadelphia 76ers, who drafted him 45th overall in the 2005 NBA Draft out of Snellville, Georgia, and South Gwinnett High School. 

Williams ended up landing with the Atlanta Hawks after seven seasons in Philly, followed by the Toronto Raptors, Los Angeles Lakers, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Clippers and back to the Hawks for his final season and a half. 

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His final game came in April 2022 with Atlanta. 

“Injuries, struggles, and relocations all threatened your will to keep going,” his daughter continued. “And time and time again, you rose. Proving to yourself and your peers that you are the ‘Underground GOAT.’

“Trademarking your imperfections and flaws, many will have nicknames to you. But you are a mentee, a teacher, a great friend, a son, a brother, and our father. For 17 years, you move to your own rhythm in this game. The time is now that you’ve chosen to announce your farewell. But still fulfilling your legacy within us.”

Lou Williams dribbles up court

Lou Williams of the Atlanta Hawks dribbles up court at Scotiabank Arena on April 5, 2022, in Toronto, Canada. (Cole Burston/Getty Images)

Williams, 36, tied Crawford with three Sixth Man of the Year awards, which came in 2015, 2018 and 2019. He finishes with 13.9 points averaged with 3.4 assists per game. 

But Williams was more than just an impactful player on the court. His humble demeanor was always on display. 

There is a famous story about how Williams was the victim of an armed robbery while playing for the 76ers. However, it was only an attempt. The man recognized Williams and understood how much he had given back to the community. 

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Williams explained everything on Twitter in 2011. 

“There’s crime everywhere,” he wrote. “I was debating whether to pull off to help the guy. The gun was already out. He did all the talking, and we came up with a solution before I could really say much. I treated him to McDonald’s.”

That’s the type of person Williams has been throughout his career and will likely continue to be as he begins the retired part of his life. 

Lou Williams poses for camera

Lou Williams of the Atlanta Hawks smiles during a game on March 7, 2022, at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Michigan. (Chris Schwegler/NBAE via Getty Images)

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“You gave it all that you could give,” his daughter finished. “You left nothing more to unturn. And I’m truly proud of you, Dad. Well done.”

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