Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Toronto Raptors Sharpshooter Lou Williams Wins NBA Sixth Man Award

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Toronto Raptors Sharpshooter Lou Williams Wins NBA Sixth Man Award

Article excerpt

Toronto's Williams wins NBA 6th Man Award

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TORONTO - They called him damaged goods. They said his best basketball was behind him.

Lou Williams used it to drive him.

The Toronto Raptors sharpshooter -- whose exploits inspired a Drake song -- won the NBA's Sixth Man Award on Monday as the league's best reserve player. The honour comes less than two years after a torn anterior cruciate ligament left his career in doubt.

"It fuelled me just to work," Williams said. "When you experience a certain level of success and you know you can play at a high level, and then your legs get swiped from under you with an ACL tear, anything you can use as fuel to get back on the court, to get back to playing at a high level, we all use anything that we can.

"So I appreciate all the people that said I was damaged. But today is a special day to commemorate everything I've been through."

Williams averaged a career-high 15.5 points in his 10th NBA season, helping Toronto win a franchise-record 49 games. He's thrilled fans with his clutch three-point shooting, which prompted a team official to run the length of the court trailing a giant "Looouuuuu!" flag with each made basket.

Toronto rapper Drake, who's also the Raptors' global ambassador referenced Williams in his song "6 Man," which goes: "Boomin' out in South Gwinnett like Lou Will, 6 man like Lou Will. . ."

"The song is cool, I have a soundtrack to go with the award now, so it's pretty cool," Williams said

On whether he received a memento from Drake, he said, laughing: "Yeah, I got like 100,000 Instagram followers."

"Drake got it right," said Raptors reserve Patrick Patterson. "He made the song for a reason. He predicted the future. It's a huge accomplishment for Lou. We're all extremely proud of him and we're happy for him."

Williams is the first player in Raptors history to win the award, after earning 78 first-place votes and 502 total points from a panel of 130 sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada.

GM Masai Ujiri acquired Williams in a trade last summer with Atlanta. Williams was coming off one of the worst seasons of his career as he adjusted to his new reality. …

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