Finding a new head coach could be the least of the Pelicans’ worries now.
Following the team’s mutual parting ways with Stan Van Gundy after just one season, a bombshell report involving rising NBA superstar Zion Williamson has emerged. According to reports from The Athletic, some members of Zion’s family want him out of New Orleans.
“They have been unable to put together the right elements to make rising star Zion Williamson and his family happy, and multiple sources have told The Athletic that certain family members want Williamson on another team,” the report reads.
With a star like Zion potentially on the move, NBA fans from around the league took to Twitter to react.
oh lord here we go https://t.co/F74eHq15GG
— Jason Patt (@Bulls_Jay) June 17, 2021
I mean call me crazy, but I don’t think continuing to fire his head coaches will make him happy https://t.co/QYQriI4NDo
— William Boyd (@BoydSports) June 17, 2021
the Zion family want outta Nola lmfaoooo https://t.co/Zashs98kqC
— FBG, b. 🦅⚜️ (@real__bwes) June 17, 2021
They got to keep a guy in year 2 happy? NBA going down a slippery slope https://t.co/nzSuv2MNTX
— KDGYT 🧀🦌 (@Official414) June 17, 2021
Get rid of David Griffin. Problem solved. Most overrated GM in sports, who has only accomplished anything because LeBron decided to come back to Cleveland https://t.co/x4uerrX9rX
— Chad Wickham (@CWickham2) June 17, 2021
seeeesh pelicans on the clock already https://t.co/ebBulllvaG
— Meek (@_RaininTweets) June 17, 2021
Zion is currently entering the final year of his rookie deal. The 2022-23 season holds a potential club option and the next season a qualifying option.
After an injury-ridden rookie season, the former Duke star finished his first near-full season in 2020-21 — playing 61 of the teams 72 games. Through that time on the court, Zion averaged 27.0 points and 7.2 rebounds per game — earning him his first (likely of many) All-Star appearance.
While the Pelicans had plenty of potential heading into this season, things didn’t pan out exactly as planned. In his first and only season as New Orleans head coach, Van Gundy led the team to an 11th place finish in the Western Conference — despite solid additions like Eric Bledsoe, Steven Adams, JJ Reddick and the continued emergence of star forward Brandon Ingram.
All I have to say is that it's a minor miracle it took 2 years for this stuff to go public about Zion's family. But that's what happens when the honeymoon period ends and the team isn't producing.
— Shamit Dua (@FearTheBrown) June 17, 2021
If Zion does stick around in 2021-22, he will be playing under his third head coach through three NBA seasons.