Let's just take a minute to address this drama surrounding Saturday night's Lil Wayne concert. The details are simple: Lou Williams and a few others 76ers attended Saturday night's concert despite having a noon game the following day vs. the Sacramento Kings. After the loss, Lou, believing their attendance at the concert had already been brought up, commented on it, saying that some guys who went to the concert played well (Jrue Holiday, Spencer Hawes), while other guys didn't play so well (Lou himself). Pretty quickly, this became a very big deal with folks saying the Sixers were being unprofessional and immature, staying out until 3:30 a.m. in the morning, and jeopardizing their preparation for the game -- an overtime loss to the Kings.
Before tonight's game against the Chicago Bulls, we went straight to Lou himself to get an explanation about exactly how all of this blew up on them. Later, I went back to Lou to ask him if he really was out until 3:30 a.m. and he denied that, saying he has a kid now and he can't be out all night like that. He seemed exasperated by all of this and didn't want to keep talking about it.
Here's what Lou said:
Why did you bring it up in the first place?
"Only reason I brought it up was because I thought it was mentioned before that. Other than that, it was nothing to me. I mean, we've done worse. Late movies, late dinners. So, that's the only reason I mentioned it. I've heard I made an excuse, which I've never made excuses for anything I've done, good or bad. Never took credit and never tried to downplay losing a basketball game. The only reason I mentioned it was I thought it was brought up before."
Were you suprised at the reaction?
"No, that's what happens, gives people something to talk about."
Was there partying after?
"We don't have heavy drinkers, we don't have heavy partiers, we just went and enjoyed a concert. Actually, I was the only one that played bad that was there."
Did you consider not going because it was an early game?
"The concert was over at 10 o'clock. And like I said, we've done worse, late dinners, late movies. We went to a concert, we weren't crowd surfing or anything. We were sitting comfortably in a suite and sat back and enjoyed the show."
And you don't sleep anyway cause you have a newborn?
"I don't sleep anyway. Like I said, if that was made for an excuse for us to lose the game, I was the only one that played bad that was there. That's it. I don't think it's that big of a deal. Period."
The decision to attend a concert when the next day's game is at noon (meaning most players arrive by about 10 a.m.) might not be totally blameless here, but I've heard some blatant lies regarding the situation: saying certain guys attended who did not attend, saying they were out partying all night. But this all seems a reflection of some sort of cultural stereotype rather than the reality of the situation: Lou went to the concert, he didn't play well. Jrue went to the concert, he played one of his best games of the season. Also of note, some of the Sacramento Kings attended the concert, as well.
OK, now that the situation is addressed, onto tonight's game vs. the Chicago Bulls, which will provide enough drama. Andre Iguodala will play tonight despite struggling with the knee tendinitis. It's going to be a challenging game (to say the least) for the Sixers after the loss to the Kings. They don't need a victory tonight, but the last time they were here they lost by 45 points. Tonight's game can't look anything like that. They need to compete for four full quarters or they'll be undoing something they worked very hard to build.
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