9. Lou Williams makes history off the bench
Since entering the league back in 2005, Lou Williams has played in 936 regular season basketball games. In that span of time, he’s started just 110 of them. For reference, that’s only 11.8 percent. He’s rarely been one to start games, but the value he brings to his respective team is unquestionable and a big reason why, more often than not, he’s finishing them.
Sweet Lou has made a name for himself as one of the best sixth men in NBA history. A career 14.2 points per game scorer, he’s proven more than capable of colossal scoring feats despite a frail 6’1” 175-pound frame. Over the last two seasons, he’s actually led the Clippers in scoring off the bench, an untraditional go-to scorer looking to correct the notion that great players don’t reside in the second unit.
Williams has two Sixth Man of the Year trophies with a third likely on its way, yet it was a mid-March game against the Boston Celtics where he truly etched his name into the record books. In the midst of a stellar 34-point outing, he made a layup that gave him 11,154 career points off the bench, passing Dell Curry for the most in NBA history.
As anyone who’s ever played organized basketball can attest, we’re shown the value and difference between starting a game vs. coming off the bench, even at the earliest age. To ride the pine is an unspoken insult on one’s talent, a statement claiming they aren’t good enough to warrant a spot on the court come tip-off time.
Lou Williams has never been grouped with the true superstars of the game, nor has he ever been named to an All-Star team. The career he’s managed to carve out in his role, however, is nothing short of marvelous, a constant reminder to young ballers that the role you’re given matters less than what you choose to do with it.