There have been plenty of rumors swirling in the offseason about Zion Williamson, including murmurs that he wanted out so that he could play in New York.
Well, during the New Orleans Pelicans’ media day, the man himself finally got an official word in, and it seems that all is good with him and the organization.
Williamson said that he loved the city and organization, and enjoyed being in New Orleans. He also said that he had a good relationship with Pelicans executive David Griffin, and even though they don’t always see eye-to-eye, they bring the best out of each other.
Hearing those words will be sweet music the fears of Pelicans fans, who are still reeling from the Anthony Davis saga, and are understandably be edgy about any rumblings regarding a disgruntled Williamson. After all, he was their number one pick in 2019, and he’s shown without a doubt that he has the talent and potential to be one of the NBA’s marquee players. His jovial attitude with the media was definitely a welcome sight for the fans.
However, the good news also came with some ill tidings. It turns out that Williamson had surgery to fix a fractured right foot before summer league started. While Williamson and the Pelicans feel optimistic, we’ll only know about his recovery progress on opening day itself. It seems the injury occured because of overtraining, so they’ll have to watch out for that.
It also wouldn’t be surprising if he had some sort of minutes restriction, much like during his rookie debut where he only played 18 minutes but still scored 22 points.
Williamson, on his best day, is a blend of power and skill rarely seen in NBA history. He’s got a pretty good passing game, a decent handle, and his strength puts other NBA big men to shame. Plus, he’s also agile and has a growing repertoire of tricks that is quickly making him unstoppable on the offensive end. His physical gifts also allow him to play bully ball while making other grown men look like children on the court. Make no mistake, Williamson is the kind of player that you bet the future of your franchise on.
He was decently durable last season, and played in 61 of 72 total games. He averaged 27 PPG, 7.2 RPG, 3.7 APG while shooting 61.1% from the field. He’s only 21, and has plenty of room to grow. He’s also on the same team as Brandon Ingram, who just turned 24 this month, and Ingram averaged 23.8 PPG, 4.9 RPG and 4.9 APG. Ingram also played in 61 games last season, and to see them average 50.8 PPG as a duo gives the Pelicans a reason to be positive about their future.
With the nature of the sports news cycle, rumors will always abound, but sometimes it’s just better to listen to the players themselves. For now, Williamson is saying all the right things, and it’d be nice to see him follow through.
Now, let’s just see if he’s ready on opening day. The NBA will be a better place if he is.
You can see the full interview with Williamson below.