Zion Williamson hosts a pregame dunk show for fans


zion williamson

zion williamson
Photo: access point

Fans who tuned in to ESPN’s pregame coverage of San Antonio and New Orleans on Wednesday night received a little extra treat. There was a sighting of Zion Williamson on the court. Before the game, Williamson did some on-court work and put on a show for the mostly team staff in attendance.

But like most things in this age of social media, Zion’s display and, most notably, his landmark 360-degree windmill dunk that was posted on Twitter and shown on national television he immediately got a reaction from everyone. It’s always great to see Williamson on the court as it looks like her foot injury is healing. But the fancy dive before the game is just a tease for fans.

At this point, it’s probably best for the Pelicans, who beat the Spurs 113-103, to keep Zion on the back burner. The team made it this far without him as he didn’t dress for a game during the regular season. Let him prepare for the upcoming season and work on getting back in shape. No one needs to see Williamson warm up like he’s going to play, then go back to the locker room and walk out for the opening pitch in street clothes. Zion’s suit was cool, but it’s still not the outfit that helps the Pelicans on the court.

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I’m pretty sure Commissioner Adam Silver saw Williamson doing a windmill before the game and probably shook his head in disappointment. silver knew Zion wasn’t playing in last night’s game, and I’m sure he’s frustrated by all these players taking a year or more to come back from injuries. Williamson has basically been out for a year, as has Kawhi Leonard in Los Angeles and Jamal Murray in Denver. Ben Simmons hasn’t played an NBA game in almost a full calendar year, and for James Wiseman, he’s already been over a year.

So the league can’t be happy about this, along with the load-handling dilemma they’ve grappled with for a decade or so. This happens when the new guy arrives, and his approach is the opposite of the previous commissioner’s. Former NBA commissioner David Stern ruled like a tyrant and his word was final. Stern didn’t cater to players for the most part, and Silver has apparently done nothing more than that. Now that player-friendly attitude is continually biting Silver in the butt. Say what you will, but there’s not much Silver can do about player load management. If a player says he has back problems, the team basically has to take him at his word. Hmmm, sounds familiar to you?

Seeing Zion dunk freely before the game only adds to fans’ hope that he will fizzle out minutes later when his state is the same as it has been all year. It’s still out indefinitely. I honestly wonder if he’ll ever come back as Pelican. Rumors have been floating around for a while now that he might not be happy in new orleans.

If it’s true about Zion not be happy in the Big Easy, this puts New Orleans in a difficult position. Williamson has a lot of untapped potential, and he’s still very young at 21. But we know how these situations tend to be in the NBA. When the star player is unhappy and doesn’t want to be a part of the franchise anymore, that guy can almost always force him out of town. If Zion is tired of the Pelicans’ organization, it’s only a matter of time before this scenario plays out.

That’s where we are now, and the Pelicans are in murky waters trying to navigate all of this Zion injury problem. And apparently they’re not going to get much help from the commissioner’s office. If Williamson isn’t ready to start the 2022-23 campaign, then it’s probably time for New Orleans to cut its losses and move on.

Don’t get me wrong, it would suck to trade a player with that much potential at age 20, but when so much time is lost on the floor, the team may not have many other options. If a player is so injured that he can’t play, he doesn’t need to be on the floor like Williamson did before this game against the Spurs.

Even if fans aren’t in the arena while it warms up, everyone has a camera, and that session will be recorded and distributed online as it was. People see those images on their way to the game, then once they arrive, Zion is on the sidelines in a suit and his flashy jewelry on. He doesn’t look good and sends the wrong message to fans. All the pre-game training in the arena just needs to stop. It’s unnecessary and only serves as a disappointment to the fans if that player isn’t going to be in that night’s game.





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