Zion Williamson has yet to take the floor for the New Orleans Pelicans this year. In fact, he hasn’t even participated in a full practice.
Despite suggesting in the preseason that his injuries wouldn’t render him unavailable for the squad’s 2021-22 NBA campaign, that is exactly what has happened to date.
Worse yet, there has been zero indication that Williamson is actually on the mend.
Every health update regarding him thus far has proven worse than whatever came prior.
And that pattern continued to hold true this week.
According to Christian Clark of The New Orleans Advocate, Williamson is in the process of rehabbing his injured foot, but not under the watchful eye of the Pelicans’ medical staff.
“For the past few weeks, Williamson has been in Oregon, where Nike’s official headquarters are located,” Clark wrote.
“Williamson traveled there via owner Gayle Benson’s private jet. The team insisted Williamson would be ‘remaining under the supervision of the Pelicans medical staff.’ However, no Pelicans officials accompanied Williamson on the trip, and the 21-year-old star has been working with Jasper Bibbs, a strength coach who in August was fired after less than two months at LSU.”
That is not great.
To date, Williamson has played in 85 outings in his pro career. He has missed 103. That too is not great.
Most attribute Williamson’s persistent injury woes to his constantly out-of-control weight.
By now, everyone has seen the photos. Sometimes Williamson looks thick as ever; other times he looks relatively leaner. No matter which pictures you opt to believe, the problem remains the same: he is always injured and it’s most likely due in no small part to his weight. And no matter what the team tries to do to make him less fat, it never seems to pan out.
Williamson’s non-stop filtration with the New York Knicks also doesn’t help much.
Sooner or later New Orleans will need to make a hard decision. At the moment they are clearly anxious that Williamson will depart for the bright Big Apple lights. Between his open frustration with the team and his blatant love affair with one of the league’s top organizations, Williamson hasn’t done much to inspire faith in his desire to stay in New Orleans.
Paige VanZant kept it real. https://t.co/68mlyaHLpE
— Game 7 (@game7__) January 20, 2022
But a resolution needs to be reached. Either he needs to get healthy, take the floor for the Pelicans and justify that No. 1 overall pick they wasted on him. Or the front office needs to move him ASAP, while he still has some value – because this current arrangement isn’t working for anyone.