Lou Williams entered the NBA in 2005 as a member of the last draft class that allowed high school players to jump straight to the League. Since then, he has experienced it all over the course of his six-year NBA career, including a three-game stint in the D-League at the beginning of his sophomore season. This year, the 6-1, 175-pound reserve guard for the Philadelphia 76ers is having one of his best seasons yet, averaging 13.7 points and 3.4 assists per game.
In the end, Lou Williams will always be defined by his accomplishments on the basketball court, but that hasn’t stopped him from building his personal brand away from the arena. When it comes to off-court endeavors, Williams is one of the more entrepreneurial-minded sports professionals out there. While he was in New York, we sat down with Lou to talk hoops, fashion, music and life outside of the game.
*** *** ***
Dime: Tell us more about your documentary, Peace of Mind, and how that came about. We see the first couple episodes are already on your YouTube channel.
Lou Williams: Basically I want to give people some insight on what’s going on with life outside of basketball. Usually when you see basketball players on TV, you see the superstars and you really don’t get to see what life is like for the mid-level guys. It was an opportunity for me to have some people that I grew up around follow me around with cameras and give you some insight on the many things I’m involved with.
Dime: What made you choose the episodic format as opposed to one long movie?
LW: Every episode is something different. We showed you about the music part of things, the community stuff that we do and also my daughter being born. Just a number of things that people wouldn’t get the opportunity to see. The reason why we’re doing episodes is because we figure we can do it forever like that.
Dime: What type of feedback have you gotten from it?
LW: For the most part, the feedback has been really positive. I’m really grateful and appreciative of that because at the same time, once you allow people on the inside, you always leave that door open for criticism.
Dime: We know you’re a Converse guy, but tell us a little about your clothing brand, Evol Rocx Clothing.
LW: It’s Evol, which is “love” spelled backwards, Rocx. Love rocks. We’ve been doing it for a year now. I have a few partners out of Florida and a few partners out of New York. We all merged together to create this clothing line. We’ve been doing very well. Right now, we’re starting off basic – sweaters, t-shirts, skullies – things like that. It’s just something to expand your portfolio.
Dime: How much are you involved with the designs and the marketing?
LW: It’s not something that I just put a bunch of money into and just sit back for a check. I sit in the meetings and we go over the different designs, colors, layouts and schemes that we want to do.
Dime: What’s your target audience for the brand, and where can we find it?
LW: 18-30 is probably our demographic as far as the products and things we’re promoting on the t-shirts. We’ve mainly been going viral, but now we’re starting to get into the boutique stores and expand the brand a little more. Right now, we’re on EvolRocx.com, and we’re still working on getting it in boutiques. There’s been a demand for the product, but we don’t have quite enough to put it in the stores.
Dime: Also in the documentary, we see you’re heavy in the music game. What role does music play in your life?
LW: Music is something that I’ve been doing for as long as I’ve been playing basketball. I think that started from just freestyling on the back of the team bus in high school. But at the end of the day, it’s just a hobby for me. It’s just something that takes up time. If you get to know me, you’ll see that I always keep myself busy; I’m always working on something. I just find things to block up time, and I think music has been doing that for me this past season.
Dime: Can we expect more videos like the “I’m A Boss” freestyle? That was pretty hot.
LW: (laughs) “I’m A Boss” was spur of the moment. We just got bored and I was playing music and they were like, “We should shoot it in the studio.” What happened is we put it on YouTube, and WorldStar ripped it off of YouTube, and that’s how that whole thing started.
Dime: Any mixtapes in the future?
LW: I have plenty of mixtapes. I don’t know about a mixtape for the public. (laughs) When you’re doing something that’s a hobby, you don’t want to be criticized for something you do for fun.