Skip to main content

What Pelicans Coach Told Zion Williamson Before His Debut Tonight

Zion Williamson warming up for the New Orleans Pelicans.

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - JANUARY 18: Zion Williamson #1 of the New Orleans Pelicans warms up before a game against the LA Clippers at the Smoothie King Center on January 18, 2020 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

Zion Williamson will make his long-awaited NBA debut on Wednesday evening. The No. 1 overall pick has missed the first three-plus months of the New Orleans Pelicans season with an injury. The Western Conference franchise is surely pumped to get him on the floor.

The Pelicans will be careful with Williamson in his debut, though. Williamson is in the starting lineup, but he'll be on a minutes restriction.

Williamson, who starred collegiately at Duke for one season before leaving for the NBA, is expected to play roughly 20 minutes.

Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry had some simple advice for Williamson before his debut: Dunk the ball as much as possible.

"I just told him to dunk on everything," he said.

Hey, that worked for Zion in college. It'll probably work for him in the NBA, too.

The Pelicans and the Spurs are set to tip off at 9:30 p.m. E.T.

The game will be on ESPN.