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Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Articles tagged: Zion Williamson

Zion Williamson may have minutes restriction if Pelicans’ season resumes

Zion Williamson

The New Orleans Pelicans could be back to exercising caution with Zion Williamson if they are playing basketball again any time in the near future.

Speaking during a conference call with the media this week, Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry hinted at the possibility of a minutes restriction for the No. 1 overall pick if the team’s season resumes.

“We’ll have those conversations,” said Gentry, per NBA.com. “Obviously, his health will be the number one priority, but the restriction was really off after his first 5-6 games. So, he was playing the minutes that he would normally play, considering with any situation really. But, it will be something that we talk about when we do resume and as far as how it looks for Zion from a minute standpoint, and we’ll do that really with some of the other players.

“This is unprecedented, really,” Gentry added. “You play in a basketball game, you play 60 games, then all of a sudden the season ends, then now it’s going to start back up. So, this is going to be something that is different for every single player that has ever played in the NBA or is playing in the NBA now.”

Williamson, 19, missed the first several months of the season with a meniscus tear and did have a moderate minutes restriction in place upon his initial return. In his 19 total games before play was suspended though, Williamson averaged a robust 23.6 points and 6.8 rebounds in 29.7 minutes per game.

At 28-36, the Pelicans were out of the playoffs, so there is no guarantee their season continues, even if the 2019-20 campaign does pick up again. Should New Orleans be back in action however, limiting Williamson’s playing time makes sense, despite that previously being unpopular with the team’s fans.

Zion Williamson OK with losing Rookie of the Year to Ja Morant

Zion Williamson

Zion Williamson was unable to overtake Ja Morant in the Rookie of the Year race, in part due to the early suspension of the season, but the New Orleans Pelicans star seems to be at peace with the situation.

In an interview Monday with Ernie Johnson that aired on the NBA’s official social media pages, Williamson spoke on his Memphis Grizzlies counterpart Morant likely winning Rookie of the Year honors.

“My goal was if I could rally my team to the playoffs, hopefully I could make a run for it,” said Williamson, per Christian Clark of the New Orleans Advocate. “But it’s God’s plan at this point. If Ja wins it, I’m going to be happy for Ja.”

Williamson missed the first three months of the season as he recovered from meniscus surgery, and the Pelicans fell behind in the Western Conference playoff picture in his absence. When he finally did make his debut, he only got 19 games to make an impact before play was suspended on March 11.

As for Morant, who was drafted No. 2 overall last year to Williamson’s No. 1, he was a big reason why the Grizzlies outperformed expectations this year. With 17.6 points and 6.9 assists per game, the former Murray State star had led Memphis to the No. 8 seed in the West when the season was suspended.

Williamson certainly had his moments this season though, and it sounds like he is doing a good job of maintaining perspective here with his entire NBA career still ahead of him.

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.