In an appearance on the DraftKings podcast The Starting Five, former NBA star Lou Williams opened up about how a meeting with Jay-Z convinced him to skip college basketball and go straight to the league.
"I went straight from high school," he told hosts Set Free Richardson and Jadakiss near the start of the interview, as seen above. "My thing was, my senior year in high school I started experiencing things. I had this one night, LeBron and [Maverick Carter] introduced me to Jay-Z. I kicked it with Jay for a night and I went to school the next day. And I was looking around the class, like, 'I'm nothing like none of y'all.' I start experiencing different shit, so I was like, I'm not going to sit in another classroom after this. I literally can't do it, I don't think that's going to be the path for me. So, I start preparing myself like I'm going to the NBA."
Williams originally committed to play at the University of Georgia, but ultimately decided to declare himself for the 2005 NBA Draft instead. He was drafted in the second round and was picked 45th overall by the Philadelphia 76ers, for whom he played until 2012. Throughout his career, he also played with the Atlanta Hawks, the Toronto Raptors, the Los Angeles Lakers, the Houston Rockets, and the Los Angeles Clippers. He announced his retirement earlier this year and finished time in the league with 15,593 points, making him the 131st-highest-scoring player in NBA history.
"I got drafted, but I got drafted in the second round," he explained on DraftKings. "I felt like I did enough work to get drafted, but I might've got drafted on a relationship. At that time [Maurice Cheeks] was the head coach of the Sixers and me and him had the same agent. I was naive, I wasn't in shape for my pre-draft workouts, so I slid in the draft. I was supposed to go late in the first round, slid in the draft and ended up getting drafted in the second round by the Sixers. And I think that was a blessing in disguise. It was one of the best things that happened to me. I spent my first seven years in the NBA in Philly. I spent my first three with my idol."
Watch the full interview with Williams above.