The NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year award has become one of the top honors each year in the league, and the story of the award can’t be told without Lou Williams, who is one of only two players to have won it three times.
When TMZ Sports asked the recently retired microwave scorer about the idea of having the award named after him, he couldn’t help but gush about the idea.
“That would be an honor,” the 36-year-old said.
However, the former journeyman also did mention that if the league were to go in a different direction, he would love for the honor to be given to Jamal Crawford or Manu Ginobili.
“If not me, Jamal,” Williams said. “If not Jamal, Manu. I think we’re three guys that champion that. We made it a lifestyle.”
Those three players certainly impacted how sixth men are viewed in the NBA. While Williams and Crawford made waves by scoring in bunches off the bench, Ginobili showed that one can have a key role for championship teams despite not being in the starting lineup. Three of the Argentine’s titles came with him primarily being a reserve.
Because this year’s Hall of Fame class was recently enshrined, Williams was also asked about his thoughts on possibly making it there. He then responded by saying that he “definitely” thinks that both he and Crawford are Hall of Famers (Ginobili was already enshrined in 2022).
“I definitely think we’re all Hall of Famers,” he said. “We contributed to the game. I think the Hall of Fame is what you bring to the table and being the best at what you do in the realm of basketball. I think we all did that.”
It seems that Williams believes that by changing people’s views about playing off the bench, he, along with Crawford and Ginobili, should be given recognition.
“I think we’ve changed the way people view it,” he said. “We changed the way the players view it, most importantly.”
Only time will tell if the retired combo guards get voted into the Hall of Fame. But perhaps Williams shouldn’t get his hopes up, as the two players’ accolades may not merit them getting in.
The good news is that it might take a long time before their scoring marks off the bench get broken. Williams leads the league in all-time points by a reserve player with 13,396. Crawford is a distant second with 11,279 points.
Among active players, only Jordan Clarkson seems to have a shot at nearing their records. The Utah Jazz guard has a total of 6,973 points off the bench and averages 15.2 points per game in that role.