Williams, 32, is now the NBA’s all-time leader in bench scoring.
Lou says he wants to be “remembered as a team guy” when it’s all said and done.
Per The Undefeated:
“[Iverson] was the reason I ended up coming off the bench,” Williams said. “When he came back to Philly, I was in a really good run and I ended up getting hurt when he came in. He got the starting spot. That kind of solidified me as a role player. But for him, he’s a Hall of Fame guy, an MVP-caliber guy. I wouldn’t expect him to accept a bench role like that.”
Coming off the bench after having success as a starter was not easy for Williams. His family and friends thought he deserved more. It wasn’t glamorous. But Williams changed his mentality when he began to pay attention to the success of Jamal Crawford, who is a three-time NBA Sixth Man of the Year and now has the third-most bench points ever. Williams also realized he was getting more notoriety as a scorer and more satisfaction coming off the bench.
“If you want to be a part of a team and a team player and you really mean it, you accept the role,” Williams said. “You always hear these clichés that ‘I will do whatever to help the team win.’ I was put in that position. I had to walk it like I talked it. I had to mean it. That was the part that kind of stuck with me. I always wanted to be remembered as a team guy and not a selfish person. …
“That is something that you have to go through with yourself. You start talking to your family and ain’t no one gonna tell you that you should embrace a bench role. They’re going to tell you, ‘You’re supposed to be a starter and you’re supposed to be a star.’ That was some adversity I had to go through early on in my career. I had to embrace it.”