NBA

Johnny Manziel Confirms the Strip-Club Chicken Wings That Got Lou Williams Busted Are Awesome

Having Johnny Manziel vouch for you would probably be more unnerving than reassuring to the average person, but Los Angeles Clippers guard Lou Williams has the support of the former NFL quarterback. The chicken wings at the Atlanta strip club that got Williams busted by the NBA apparently really are worth 10 days in solitary confinement.

Lou Williams is paying a lot more than you do for chicken wings

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Los Angeles Clippers guard Lou Williams will have to miss at least the first two games of the NBA season restart because he began a 10-day quarantine on Saturday. The Clippers play their first game since the pandemic shutdown Thursday against the Los Angeles Lakers.

The NBA veteran had been given permission to leave the league’s bubble at Disney World in Orlando late last week to attend a memorial service for his grandfather in Atlanta. However, a social media post showed him at an Atlanta strip club Thursday evening.

Williams, 33, subsequently admitted to league security personnel that he did, in fact, visit Magic City after the memorial service. He stated that the club was his favorite Atlanta restaurant, an assertion perhaps supported by the fact that a flavor of wings – lemon pepper BBQ – is named in Williams’ honor. Other athletes support his claim about the quality of the wings.

Williams’ detour proved costly. Whereas New Orleans Pelicans rookie sensation Zion Williamson had to submit to a four-day quarantine after returning from an excused absence, Williams was hit with 10 days as a precautionary measure.

The extended stay in solitary will cost Williams two game checks, working out to about $150,000. Actually, it’s $150,015 if you include the cost of a 10-piece order of wings at Magic City.

Johnny Manziel backs up Lou Williams’ claim

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When the picture surfaced on Instagram of Lou Williams at an Atlanta strip club during his excused absence, he defended himself by claiming Magic City was his favorite restaurant in Atlanta. The public scoffed, but Williams was able to refer people to his own past comments online raving about the club’s food.

That didn’t put him back in the good graces of NBA executives, who desperately want to avoid the COVID-19 pandemic debacle marring the start of the Major League Baseball season. However, it did help ease up on the ridicule he was getting online.

Of course, just when the whole thing was dying down, Johnny Manziel put the story back into the news by sharing his thoughts on the food at Magic City. Replying to a tweet about Williams’ predicament with league officials, the former Cleveland Browns quarterback endorsed the wings.

“Believe it or not,” he wrote, “the chicken wings at Magic City are the best I’ve ever had.”

Pizzeria owners will confirm that Sundays during the NFL season are some of their busiest days when it comes to customers ordering wings. Manziel has certainly had his share of Sundays free to sample from around the country; the Browns cut the 2014 first-round draft choice after two disastrous seasons.

The Clippers guard did the strip club a huge favor

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The country is littered with restaurants that couldn’t survive the pandemic despite serving excellent food. Still more are reeling, uncertain whether they’ll adjust to the new normal of reduced seating capacity and stringent new sanitary standards brought on by COVID-19.

In that context, the Magic City strip club has been blessed. The attraction of live entertainment may have already been enough to keep the establishment in business. But the story of Lou Williams’ misadventure has generated the sort of publicity that the owners couldn’t possibly have bought.

In fact, they couldn’t have bought their way into The Athletic, the subscription-driven sports website without ads, no matter what. But they got on the site anyway as reporter Chris Kirschner turned food critic for an afternoon.

Kirschner ordered the Lou Williams lemon pepper BBQ wings and came away impressed:

“They had a perfect amount of crisp, not much breading to make it thick like fried chicken but enough to give the skin a crunchy texture. The meat inside was juicy and yet fully cooked. It pulled right off the bone without much fight. And the sauce. Oh, the sauce. It had a combination of sweet and smoky, with the lemon pepper seasoning giving it some zing. The flavors just explode in your mouth.”

Food review by Chris Kirschner

Kirschner’s conclusion: “I’m rolling with Lou Williams on this one. It makes perfect sense why he’d follow a funeral by going to Magic City.”