Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans’ front office can’t seem to get on the same page.
The New Orleans Pelicans have been extremely fortunate over the last decade. They were able to win two NBA draft lotteries and pick two generational talents at No. 1 overall. Anthony Davis in 2012 and Zion Williamson in 2019. Unfortunately, they haven’t been able to parlay this good fortune into much.
Anthony Davis’ time in New Orleans ended after seven years with Davis forcing a trade to the Los Angeles Lakers. In those seven years, the Pelicans made the playoffs twice, losing in the first and second rounds.
All signs are pointing to a Zion Williamson exit that will come even quicker and with less franchise success than Davis’.
Zion Williamson and David Griffin can’t connect
A bombshell article by NOLA.com, detailed the struggles of David Griffin, the executive vice president of basketball operations for the New Orleans Pelicans. One of the biggest takeaways was the wedge being developed between Griffin, the organization and his franchise player Zion Williamson.
The piece reports that Williamson was frustrated with how the team handled his return to action after his meniscus tear in his rookie season. Williamson would have liked to come back sooner and wasn’t a fan of the playing in “burst” method that they used for him.
The lack of relationship between Williamson and David Griffin, whose tenure started two months before drafting Williamson, was also detailed:
“Williamson’s relationship with Griffin had also begun to sour. Although they communicate infrequently now, Griffin tried hard in Williamson’s rookie year to forge a bond. One example: During the Pelicans’ bubble stay, Griffin asked to meet with Williamson and played the piano for him.”
Zion Williamson’s family unhappy
Back in June, The Athletic reported that Zion Williamson’s family was frustrated with the organization after two unsuccessful seasons. They felt the team wasn’t making the right moves to help Williamson and the Pelicans have success. The report went on to say that some family members would like to see him on another team.
Zion Williamson stays silent
Despite all of the reports and headlines surrounding his name, Williamson hasn’t commented on anything. He keeps a relatively low profile during the off-season appearing in promotions and popping up at sporting events where a camera is always put in his face.
Whether he says anything or not, he certainly has reason to be frustrated with the franchise. Williamson is entering his third season and will start training camp with his third head coach. Coming off a season where he averaged 27 points on 61 percent shooting, Williamson was able to put up historic numbers in his first all-star season with a poorly constructed roster.
With Williamson eligible for a maximum rookie contract extension next summer, the Pelicans must address any issues and get on the same accord with Williamson or history will repeat itself.