Zion Williamson ripped by ex-Pelicans teammate
While many other 21-year-olds are getting lectures from college professors, Zion Williamson is getting a lecture from one of his former teammates.
Retired NBA guard JJ Redick ripped Williamson in a segment on ESPN’s “First Take” Tuesday. Redick was particularly irked by Williamson allegedly ghosting new teammate CJ McCollum, who was recently acquired by the Pelicans in a trade.
“There’s a general decorum of behavior that you should apply as a teammate,” said Redick. “Look, I wasn’t the best player on any team that I was on. But if there was a buyout possibility, if there was a trade possibility, I would always reach out to teammates. I called Ersan Ilyasova, I called Marco [Belinelli], I called Wes Matthews trying to get him to come to Philly.
“This just shows a complete lack of investment in your team, in the organization, in the city,” Redick added about Williamson. “I get that he’s hurt and away from the team. But you just traded for one of the 50 best players in the league [in McCollum], a guy that’s supposed to be paired with you. Reach out and say hello. This is a pattern of behavior with Zion that we are seeing again and again … This is basic, basic level of humanity being a teammate. Send a text to a guy when he gets traded to your team.”
McCollum, the president of the NBA Players Association and a universally respected veteran, made some comments at All-Star Weekend that made it seem like Williamson could not care less about his arrival. You can see what McCollum had to say here.
Redick was Williamson’s teammate in New Orleans for two years from 2019 to 2021 and also said in the segment that he could describe Williamson as “detached” from personal experience. When you hear the stories about how Redick, who played in the league for 15 seasons, went the extra mile as an NBA teammate, it is clear why he finds Williamson’s behavior so offensive.
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