“In hindsight, I think as far as the public safety issue goes, I probably could have made a better-quality decision,” Williams told reporters Tuesday after scoring seven points, with six assists and six rebounds, in a minutes-restricted appearance against the Phoenix Suns. “I was a little naive in that aspect."
Williams, whose quarantine sidelined him for the Clippers’ first two games of the restarted schedule, had been given permission to leave the bubble after the death of Paul G. Williams, the father of a friend.
“It’s been documented how much I talk about this place, how much I eat there,” he said of Magic City. “I just did something that was routine for me. I frequent that place at that time of day, 5:30, 6 in the afternoon.
“At the time, I thought I was making a responsible decision. After looking back on it, with everything going on in the world, the pandemic, maybe it wasn't the best-quality decision. I chalk it up as that, take my L and keep moving."
If players have daily negative coronavirus tests while they are away from the NBA campus for approved absences, they can face as few as four additional days in quarantine. If they leave the campus and do not meet the NBA’s requirements or if they do not have their team’s approval for the absence, they go into 10 days of quarantine.
Patrick Beverley and Montrezl Harrell also left the Clippers at roughly the same time for family issues. Harrell, whose grandmother died, has yet to return. Five days after he left the campus, Beverley rejoined the team Sunday.
“It’s extremely difficult, man,” Williams said. “I truly was grieving two weeks ago. I was really going through something. I was thrown under the bus, you know what I’m saying? … All the attention turned to Magic City because it’s a gentlemen’s club. I feel like if I was at a steakhouse or Hooters or whatever, it wouldn’t be half the story.
“I pray and I really hope these fans understand what Trez is going through while he’s away, so when he come back, people don’t have a lot to say. Pat went through the thing with his family. I went through my thing. We’re having real-life issues in the world. It’s on front of a page to see the decisions you make outside of that. It’s difficult. It’s part of the landscape. You understand that. People are going to say their things, they’re going to print their things, imaginations are going to run wild. You deal with these things and keep moving.”