Williams' tardiness draws fine, lesson from DeRozan


Fresh off his most complete performance of the 2021-22 season — a 10-point, 12-rebound double-double in a comeback victory over the Clippers — Patrick Williams had something to get off his chest.

He confessed it unprompted, and to a room full of reporters.

"I'm not sure if you guys know, but I was also late to shootaround this morning," the second-year forward said. "I had missed some of the film session. I felt like I let the guys down."

That motivated Williams to "give it my all" during Thursday night's victory, in which he played a career-high 37 minutes and drained a corner 3 that gave the Chicago Bulls a 129-125 lead in the final minute of overtime.

It also drew an incredulous reaction from DeMar DeRozan.

"Damn, who said that? He said that?" DeRozan said when informed Williams had told reporters about his tardiness. "I gotta tell him not to say that to the media. He's tripping."

Informed Williams gave the information out without being questioned about it, DeRozan grew even more appalled.

"Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. He gotta learn," DeRozan said. G-- damn, why he say that? S--t."

Williams kept it close to the vest when asked what made him late to shootaround: "Nothing really. Just being 20 (years old)."

That he didn't have a valid excuse, he added, made it worse.

Williams also made clear that he profusely apologized to his teammates and coaches — and that the infraction got him slapped with an undisclosed fine.

"I'm not gonna say I wanted it (the fine). But as a professional, that's what comes with it," he said.

DeRozan, for his part, noted it was incumbent on the team to "get on" Williams about the mistake in an effort to ensure it doesn't happen again. But as is fitting for this group, the interaction ended light-hearted.

"You definitely get on him. I said something to him, then after that, we turned it into a joke," DeRozan said. "He (Williams) made sure he was an hour earlier to his time [for the game]."

It's safe to say Williams got the message.

"Tonight I just wanted to come out here and just give it my all. Let the guys know that I was still locked in this late in the season," Williams said. "We can't afford to have guys late to shootaround."

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