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#pounditThursday, August 13, 2020

Zion Williamson

Report: Zion Williamson, Dwyane Wade possible participants in NBA HORSE competition

Zion Williamson

The NBA is exploring the possibility of staging a HORSE tournament between top players, and some big names are being floated as possible participants.

According to Andrew Marchand of the New York Post, top names such as Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook, and Zion Williamson have been mentioned as possible competitors. The recently retired Dwyane Wade has been considered as well.

The event remains in the planning stages, and nothing is final. It’s an effort to provide some form of entertainment during the league’s shutdown, and these are definitely top players worth watching. There are a lot of logistical hurdles to clear in this endeavor before it becomes a reality, though.

Zion Williamson covering salaries of entire arena staff

Zion Williamson

Several NBA players are making a contribution toward arena staff while the NBA is suspended due to the coronavirus, but Zion Williamson is going above and beyond.

The New Orleans Pelicans center said Friday he will be covering the salaries of all workers at Smoothie King Center for the next 30 days.

Williamson isn’t the first to do this, but it’s a hugely magnanimous gesture. While he was the first overall pick and is making just shy of $10 million this year, it’s a pretty big commitment for a guy who’s only 19 years old. Plus, it may be an even bigger commitment than the ones made by some of his peers. We can only hope more players and owners follow suit.

Video: Zion Williamson gave his jersey to JaVale McGee without asking for swap

Zion Williamson further cemented himself as a rising NBA superstar by going toe-to-toe with LeBron James on Sunday night, and JaVale McGee appreciated the performance so much that he wanted a souvenir from it. Williamson was happy to oblige, though it was a bit awkward that he didn’t ask for anything in return.

McGee, an 11-year NBA veteran, approached Williamson after the game to ask the rookie for his jersey. Players typically swap jerseys in situations like that, but Zion apparently didn’t need a souvenir from McGee.

Williamson obviously meant no disrespect to McGee, and it’s possible the 19-year-old just didn’t think to ask for McGee’s jersey. Of course, fans love ripping on McGee for some of the blunders he has made in the past, so plenty of people got a kick out of Williamson not bothering with the jersey swap.

Williamson had 35 points compared to LeBron’s 34, but the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the New Orleans Pelicans by a score of 122-114. LeBron and Zion seemed to feed off one another, and LeBron showed the former Duke star some love after the game.

Zion Williamson makes history in latest Pelicans win

Zion Williamson

The New Orleans Pelicans have been the real deal since getting Zion Williamson back and healthy, and the 2019 No. 1 overall pick is more than living up to his draft status.

Williamson went 11/16 and scored 24 points in the Pelicans’ 116-104 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night. The 24-point game marked Williamson’s 10th straight 20-plus point game, which is an NBA record for a teenager. The previous record was nine straight 20-plus point games by a teen, held by Carmelo Anthony.

True to his humble nature, Williamson wasn’t celebrating the record he set.

“I think y’all and the world and the media are more happy for me than myself,” Williamson said, via NOLA.com. “Honestly, I don’t think much of it. I just want to get the win. My stepdad taught me growing me up that if the team has success, individual success will follow.”

Williamson is averaging 23.3 points, 7.1 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game this season. The Pelicans are 8-5 in games he has played and are two games behind the Grizzlies for the final playoff spot in the west.

Zion Williamson does not feel LeBron James gets the respect he deserves

Zion Williamson

Zion Williamson has a high opinion of LeBron James.

Williamson spoke about facing LeBron James and the Lakers ahead of Tuesday’s game in Los Angeles. The New Orleans Pelicans rookie spoke highly about LeBron.

“Sometimes I feel he doesn’t get the respect he deserves but it’s not for me to decide,” James said, via Omnisport.

James definitely has his share of haters, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t get the respect he deserves. He has been widely regarded as the best basketball player in the world for most of the past decade. You can poke holes at his resume if you want to and take shots at him here or there, but he has immense respect from most sports fans.

It won’t take long for Zion to be in a similar category either. People already like to bring up one thing regarding the Pelicans rookie.

Zion Williamson reportedly weighs over 300 pounds

Zion Williamson

Zion Williamson is a very big guy. In fact, he may be even bigger than we think he is.

In Monday’s episode of “The Bill Simmons Podcast,” Bill Simmons and guest Ryen Russillo were discussing the advantages a one-game NBA playoff could offer, including letting teams like the New Orleans Pelicans compete with the Los Angeles Lakers due to Zion Williamson’s talent. It was during this discussion that Simmons dropped a fun tidbit about Williamson.

“I heard from a reliable source that he is over 300 pounds,” Simmons said of Williamson.

Williamson is officially listed at 284 pounds. That’s not abnormal for a center, but Williamson is listed at 6-foot-6. Even his listed weight would be considered pretty heavy, much less the rumored 300-pound mark.

There were rumors that Nike wanted Williamson to drop some weight back around the start of the season. Considering Zion has been dominant since getting on the court, it’s probably not necessary for his play, but there will be worries about his long-term health as long as he’s hovering anywhere close to the 300-pound mark.

Video: Zion Williamson leaves Josh Hart hanging on high-five

Zion Williamson Josh Hart high five

New team, same old high-five struggles.

Zion Williamson left teammate Josh Hart waiting for a high-five in what was a seemingly awkward sequence during the New Orleans Pelicans’ game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday.

During the first quarter the game, Pelicans players were walking towards the bench for a stoppage in play. Hart had his hand up looking for a high-five from Williamson but got snubbed.

Some might question why Williamson was snubbing his teammate, but this is part of a running joke.

Hart’s high-five issues went back to the guard’s days with the Lakers:

Williamson also snubbed Hart in October:

The saga continues.