On the next page of the Zion Williamson plunge from spectacular commodity to entitled bust, JJ Reddick (not exactly Zion’s best friend right now) admitted that his comments on First Take about Zion’s detachment were not a one-time thing. Instead, they had private conversations and an even public call out in front of the Pelicans team during their brief time together - as you normally do with humble, hungry players. It seems that our picture of Zion is cemented in mud, but more on that later.
“This is not something that I randomly said on-air about Zion Williamson. This is something that I had talked to him about previously. One time I talked to him about this in front of the team.”
JJ Reddick, Green Light Tube
This is after C.J. McCollum (the president of the Player’s Association) revealed he didn’t get so much as a text from the 1st overall pick after joining the team.
Leading JJ to go no holds bars on Zion on ESPN
But C.J. has since come out and confirmed Zion reached out, which raises more questions than it answers. The most significant being if Zion was happy to do this after copping media scorn, why would he not do the same with Reddick?
Why C.J. but not Reddick?
You cannot chop up the McCollum burn as a rookie mistake since this problem was already addressed previously by JJ. The difference is, Zion doesn’t have to see JJ anymore, and from this joke, it might stay that way.
“Yes I could have texted him after I saw that thing with C.J. but I don’t think he would have texted me back anyway,” professed Reddick on the show.
Zion’s public perception is not a priority to him. I'm not saying he owes the ex-teammate anything, but a simple reactionary text at worst or an honest, reflective text at best proves a level of care. But J.J. got nothing - an echo of indifference.
Or if he does genuinely care, then maybe this ghost behavior is Zion being mad at a vet who called him out for being distant. So in retaliation, he extends his distance from the teammate he will no longer be forced to see again. I’ve heard worse things from entitled young players.
Do you know what Kyrie, Simmons, and Zion all have in common? They are all number 1 picks who were babied by their franchises. Simmons was allowed not to shoot. Kyrie could not share the love with LeBron and just had to be the leader somewhere else (we know how that turned out). Zion was without trainers and returned round.
This only goes one way
Regardless of whether this will only happen in football-town New Orleans or be the same story on the next team, all signs indicate Zion doesn’t want to be a Pelican. My favorite is the big kid skipping rehab and falling asleep during film sessions.
With the Zion Pelicans era likely coming to an end and the Pelicans acutely aware of this by their use of a unique ‘no Zion’ ‘23 season ticket promotions approach - this will go down as the Pelicans second lost generational talent within the decade. One more, and they can match the 2010’s Thunder.
Sorry Pelican fans.