New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson has now missed more games than he's played in his young career, with a plethora of lower-body injuries keeping the explosive star on the sidelines. The basketball world is very eager to see Zion make his comeback. However, recent reports from a Pelicans beat writer suggest that Williamson does not share the same excitement.
Should these reports be accurate, then the custodians of the Smoothie King Arena ought to be worried. While many will take this as an opportunity to question Zion's character and love for the game, I wouldn't jump the gun on that sound bite just yet.
Rehab can be grueling, and while it is part of his job to get healthy, anybody who has been through a cycle of rehab knows that this is easier said than done. Zion may not necessarily be reluctant to get back to playing NBA basketball, but his alleged lack of commitment to his rehab process could simply mean that he is not interested in making his comeback as a member of The New Orleans Pelicans.
If Zion has already checked out on the idea of him being with the Pelicans, then the trouble brewing in New Orleans is a lot worse than we might have thought. The Pelicans let Lonzo Ball walk without getting any sort of replacement for him, and Brandon Ingram wants out; adding Zion to the list of potential roster departures would crush the already struggling organization.
Does Zion want something in particular from the New Orleans Pelicans? Perhaps. We all know Zion is a big star and is used to being in the limelight, but unfortunately, winning is the only way to get in the limelight for teams not named the New York Knicks or Los Angeles Lakers.
Simply put, Zion wants to win, and it seems like he is starting to see that New Orleans might not be as committed to winning as he initially thought. So, in protest, he's pulling a Scottie Pippen and using the season to take his sweet time to recover from a rather serious injury. Maybe, Zion hopes that by taking Pippen's strategy in the '97/'98 season, he will end up with the same result and fulfill his dream of winning a championship as a star in the NBA.