The hype surrounding Zion Williamson came to a quick halt due to a knee injury at NBA Summer League. However, the No. 1 overall pick’s absence from the court sounds more precautionary than anything else.
Fans couldn’t wait to see Williamson showcase his athleticism in Las Vegas. The Duke star has quickly become one of the most polarizing figures in sports.
New Orleans understands that Williamson could eventually be the face of the franchise, which is why shutting him down was necessary.
David Griffin, the executive vice president of basketball operations for the Pelicans, explained the reasoning behind the team’s decision to shut down Williamson for the rest of the Summer League.
“He came to us — he wasn’t in great condition,” Griffin said. “From a cardio perspective, it wasn’t a great situation to begin with. So when he took that shot, really it was just, from my standpoint, it was more caution than anything else to shut him down at that point, because there’s really no reason to push him when he was in the situation he was in.”
Rachel Nichols released the full segment from The Jump on Twitter.
Pelicans front office guru David Griffin joined #TheJump to talk about Zion’s bruised knee, the conditioning/health plan for Zion going forward and the Pels’ chances in the west, with @MrVinceCarter15 & @PaulPierce34 pic.twitter.com/ynOsv3QvnT
— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) July 9, 2019
Although Williamson is built well for a young athlete, Griffin believes that he isn’t currently in the best shape possible.
With a professional training staff at his disposal, the hope is that Williamson will be durable in an 82-game season.