Zion Williamson, the Next Kawhi Leonard?
We talk about coaching trees in the NBA all the time, Gregg Popovich certainly comes to mind with all of the coaches currently in the NBA that once worked in the San Antonio Spurs organization. The Spurs can now boast another NBA tree, players who copy Kawhi Leonard. You know, faking injuries or just flat out refusing to play because they just don’t feel like themselves. The latest example comes from the New Orleans Pelicans and their so-called star Zion Williamson. Zion missed the Pelicans “play in” game on Wednesday and the Pelicans lost, the season is over.
Zion was quoted on Tuesday as saying ” physically I’m fine, now it’s just a matter of when I feel like Zion.” What does that mean exactly? Many think it’s a mental thing, I mean this guy has missed more games than he has played since being drafted in 2019. But the funny thing, he has not missed a paycheck since being drafted in 2019. Zion’s contract is north of 44 million dollars or 11 million per year. But he can’t play because he doesn’t feel like Zion!. The Pelicans CJ McCullom is asking when Zion can get back on the court, as is Stephen A Smith and Shannon Sharpe. When is Adam Silver going to get involved in the conversation or perhaps the Pelicans management? Look I realize guys get hurt but when did it become ok to sit out because you just didn’t feel like playing? What makes Zion’s ordeal even harder to swallow is the fact he was on the court before Wednesday’s game putting on a dunking performance. I wonder what the other Pelican players thought about that?
We went through this here in San Antonio, Kawhi Leonard faked an injury, refused to play and eventually forced a trade to Toronto where magically he led the Raptors to a title. Zion is only 22 and has great ability but that doesn’t help anyone when he is sitting on the bench most of the season. Is this something NBA fans just have to accept or do we protest at the box office and the TV screens? The NBA is already complaining about financial problems, and players like Zion will n ot help the bottom line.