JJ Redick calls out Zion Williamson’s dedication to the Pelicans


Is Zion Williamson really the franchise in New Orleans?

Is Zion Williamson truly the franchise in New Orleans?
Symbol: Getty Photographs

When he got here into the NBA as a generational skill in 2019, Zion Williamson was once regarded as New Orleans’ basketball savior, the participant to make The Giant Simple one of the most marquee stops within the league’s rotation. Now, persisted speak about his funding within the Pelicans has hit a climax, with in all probability the cruelest complaint at the matter coming Tuesday from former teammate and present ESPN analyst JJ Redick.

This morning, Redick ripped his fellow Duke alumnus for no longer talking along with his new teammate CJ McCollum, who was once traded from the Path Blazers to New Orleans on Feb. 8. Redick went as a long way to name Williamson a “indifferent teammate.” On Tuesday, ESPN’s Malika Andrews reported that since McCollum’s remarks on TNT right through All-Superstar Weekend, the 2 have certainly talked. 

“This can be a little bit insane to me,” Redick stated on First Take of Zion. “There’s a common type of decorum of habits that you simply will have to follow as a teammate. Glance, I wasn’t the most efficient participant on any group I used to be on. But when there was once a buyout chance, if there was once a industry chance, I’d all the time succeed in out to teammates. I referred to as Ersan Ilyasova. I referred to as Marco (Belinelli). I referred to as Wes Matthews, seeking to get him to come back to Philly. This simply displays a whole loss of funding for your group, within the group, within the town.

“I am getting that he’s harm and clear of the group. However you simply traded for one of the most 50 very best avid gamers within the league, a man that’s intended to be paired with you. Achieve out and say hi. This can be a trend of habits with Zion, that we’re seeing over and over again … That is fundamental, fundamental stage of humanity, being a teammate. Ship a textual content to a man when he will get traded for your group. This is simply standard habits. That’s the bar minimal that it’s a must to do. And the Pelicans the day before today despatched out an e-mail for season tickets for subsequent 12 months. Bet who wasn’t within the e-mail? Zion! What the heck is happening in New Orleans?”

Redick spent the 2019-21 seasons as Williamson’s teammate and admitted to up to now addressing those considerations to the previous No. 1 general draft pick out in entrance of the group. Williamson has ignored the entire present season with a foot harm. He in the beginning was once anticipated again round this time, however can be out once more long-term after wanting a 2d surgical treatment. McCollum’s remarks, made to TNT right through All-Superstar Weekend, have most effective reignited rumors about Williamson’s discontent in New Orleans and the potential of not easy a industry to any other group.

Williamson has most effective performed in 85 occupation video games for New Orleans, slightly greater than a normal NBA season. His professional attainable has been showcased when wholesome, averaging 25.7 issues for the Pelicans all the way through his brief occupation. His 2020-21 season, the place he performed in 64 video games, noticed him make stronger his scoring contact with 27 issues consistent with sport in addition to 7.2 rebounds consistent with sport. All that manufacturing and he waited just about two weeks to name a brand new teammate who will have to lend a hand him be productive shifting ahead?

New Orleans’ skilled basketball groups have gained one department identify in historical past, in 2008, and the turnaround anticipated with Williamson hasn’t come to fruition but, particularly with buying and selling Anthony Davis away to make room for the Pelicans new celebrity. McCollum isn’t a frontcourt transfer. He’s a complementary piece and may just downside to Williamson’s days at Duke with RJ Barrett. This duo will have to paintings. But there’s already adversity about how they may be able to mesh in combination that may most effective be solved via successful, as Williamson has but to outrun his recognition of being unsatisfied close to Bourbon Side road.

“I stated ‘trend of habits’ previous. And that is now any other incident, any other instance of that trend of habits,” Redick persisted on Tuesday. “Sure, he’s by no means publicly pop out and stated ‘I don’t need to be in New Orleans.’ However as we all know … the place there’s smoke, there’s hearth. And also you didn’t listen rumors about Giannis (Antetokounmpo) being unsatisfied in Milwaukee. No, you didn’t listen that. With Zion, you’ve heard that now for the closing 3 years.

He persisted:

“… That is going again to his rookie 12 months. There’s a accountability that you’ve got as an athlete, whilst you play a group game, to be absolutely invested. You’re absolutely invested for your frame. You’re absolutely invested for your paintings and also you’re absolutely invested for your teammates. This is your accountability. And we haven’t noticed that from Zion. Sure, he’s been superb when he’s been at the court docket, one hundred pc. He’s superb to look at. There’s nobody that may do what he does on a basketball court docket. There isn’t. The sheer stage of pressure and athleticism and talent, it’s superb, one hundred pc. However as a teammate, there’s a trend of habits. As a completely invested person in New Orleans, there’s a trend of habits. … New Orleans goes to must make some type of choice right here. We’ve noticed this now for 3 years.”


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