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#pounditMonday, July 15, 2024

Zion Williamson makes controversial comments ahead of play-in tournament

Zion Williamson smiling

Sep 27, 2021; New Orleans, LA, USA; Zion Williamson during a press conference at the New Orleans Pelicans Media Day. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Wevers-USA TODAY Sports

Zion Williamson has been ruled out for the New Orleans Pelican’s play-in tournament game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday night, and some comments the former No. 1 overall pick made this week raised serious questions about where he is at in his recovery.

Williamson has been out since he suffered a right hamstring injury in early January. The Pelicans announced on March 22 that he was cleared to return to on-court activities and would be reevaluated in two weeks, which was last week.

When asked on Tuesday about his recovery, Williamson said he can “pretty much do everything” but does not want to be thinking about his injury when he takes the court.

“If I feel like Zion, I’ll be out there,” Williamson said. “The team and myself are just being extra cautious so it doesn’t happen again. I can pretty much do everything. It’s just a matter of the level I was playing at before my hamstring (injury). I’m just a competitor. I don’t want to go out there and be in my own head and affect the team when I could just be on the sideline supporting them more. I know myself. If I was to go out there, I would hesitate on certain moves and that could affect the game.”

If the Pelicans lose to the Thunder on Wednesday, their season is over. It makes sense that the team is being cautious with Williamson given that he is just 22 and they have a massive sum of money invested in him, but many feel he should be playing in the play-in game if he is healthy enough.

One NBA insider this week offered a different explanation for while Williamson may not be able to return to the court. Either way, you can understand why many Pelicans fans are frustrated.

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