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#pounditFriday, January 21, 2022

Report: Pelicans have gone to great lengths to get Zion Williamson healthy

Zion Williamson shooting in practice

The New Orleans Pelicans need Zion Williamson to be healthy and in shape, and they are apparently moving mountains to try to make it happen.

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst and Andrew Lopez report Friday that the Pelicans have gone to great lengths to get Williamson healthy, devoting significant time, resources, and energy. Namely, they have changed staff members and even changed some of their culinary practices in an effort to support Williamson. The report adds that the Pelicans have spoken to him about protecting his body from extra hits and that executive David Griffin has stood up privately for Williamson by sending video clips to the league to illustrate how the star forward has been getting hacked. Griffin was even fined by the NBA last year for publicly criticizing the way that Williamson is officiated.

The report also says though that efforts have not shown terrific results, and it is easy to see why. Williamson remains out after undergoing foot surgery, which is part of an increasing list of lower-body injuries for him at just 21 years of age. Williamson’s weight has also been a major cause for concern.

Having made just 85 appearances to this point of his pro career, Williamson is more the butt of jokes right now than the superstar that he can be when healthy. The Pelicans are hoping that their continued investment of resources into Williamson will yield more of the latter in due time.

Photo: Mar 4, 2020; Dallas, Texas, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson (1) laughs while warming up before the game against the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

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