They may be small, but they’re hard to miss.
LSU freshman forward Emmitt Williams has spent the last few games sporting shorts that invoke memories of a pre-Fab Five era, and it’s pretty difficult to avoid noticing.
Williams is nothing if not confident about it. As a reporter asked sophomore point guard Tremont Waters about Williams’ old-school fashion choice, Williams inserted himself into the line of questioning before Waters had an opportunity to answer.
“Sexy,” Williams said from the back of the media gaggle.
Waters couldn’t find it in himself to agree.
“I don’t think ‘sexy’ is the word,” Waters said. “That’s just Emmitt, though. … That’s just his thing. We just keep coming together as a family, and if he wants to play with his shorts like that, we just embrace it.”
So how did this happen? What prompted Williams to begin rolling his shorts into his tights to the point they’re only a quarter of the down his thigh?
Well, primarily, he got a new tattoo.
On Williams’ right thigh is inked a sizable tattoo inspired by Nickelodeon cartoons of his childhood and his favorite rapper Kodak Black.
But his choice to show off the tattoo (and his legs) says a lot more about Williams than the fact that he likes ink.
He brings an energy to the Tigers that they simply wouldn’t have without him.
Aside from being one of the most efficient offensive rebounders int he nation on the court, Williams elevates the play of his teammates whether he’s getting minutes or not.
Williams said he likes sitting on the bench, where he celebrates and cheers on the Tigers with a passion and carefree attitude most college freshmen don’t exhibit. He jokingly said he wants to take out his cell phone every time his high-flying teammate Marlon Taylor makes a highlight play.
That energy carries over onto the court as well, where he has the ability and the tendency to make big plays that can sometimes change the feeling of a game.
At one point against Louisiana-Monroe, Williams got dunked on, and that would not do.
“I got mad,” Williams said. “I don’t know why I ran, but I ran, and (Waters) just threw the ball. I don’t know how he did it but he did a full-court bounce pass. I knew the ball was in my hand, and I just went up and dunked it so hard.
“I thought I was going to get rim blocked so bad.”
Williams has become a bit of a trendsetter, as freshman guard Ja’vonte Smart has begun rolling his shorts up in practice, too. Though he’s yet to sport the fad in a game.
But the shorts aren’t about setting trends or garnering attention. They’re comfortable, make him look unique on the floor and they let him show off his new tattoo. In short, he just likes wearing them.
And to Williams, keeping himself from enjoying those pleasures because it makes him look difference doesn’t even register as logical.
“I’m not scared to be different,” Williams said. “There are a lot of things people are scared to do because they’ll be different. They’ll be like ‘Oh my god they’re going to laugh at you’. I don’t care. I really don’t care.
“I’m not scared to be different, and being different is going to get me to the next level because I’m not scared to do anything.”