After quite a loud media buzz during the NBA Draft Lottery, the picks are locked. Obviously, the most notable winner is the New Orleans Pelicans with the number one pick. With this pick, they will almost certainly draft Duke phenom, Zion Williamson. Many people though are not taking to kindly to Williamson not being in a bigger market.
Throughout the night the spotlight was almost entirely on Williamson. Even to the point where viewers and the announcers alike noticed they were making Williamson physically uncomfortable.
To top it off the narrative that has been pushed all season long was taken away in an instant. Instead of going to the New York Knicks, Williamson will certainly be taken by either the Pelicans or Grizzlies.
This is something that the media, and some fans, did not take well. To be completely honest, the way the media handled the situation was downright disrespectful to the Pelicans organization and its fans.
Some reporters suggested that Williamson should withdraw from the draft and return to Duke for another year. What a slap in the face to the Pelicans. Whether it be because the Pelicans are not a big market, they aren’t really an All-Star destination or whatever other reason the way this situation was handled was a bad mark on an otherwise good night.
Will Zion Play?
Of course. It’s every kid’s dream to make it to the big leagues. No matter what team they’re playing for. Williamson isn’t going to take another year in college or go the G League. He wouldn’t risk injury just because he might go to a smaller market team.
This rumor has gained so much traction that Williamson’s step-father, Lee Anderson, has had to come out and speak on it. Anderson said, “As far as returning to Duke, that’s not something we’ve even considered.” Anderson even went on to say, “We met with David Griffin and had a great conversation and are excited at the prospect of getting settled and finding a place to stay.”
Not only is Williamson willing to play, but his family is already looking for a potential home in New Orleans.
Instead of allowing Williamson to speak his mind they have inadvertently put words in his mouth.
Aside from all the controversy, this is the best move for Williamson. Nothing is guaranteed. Look no further than Greg Oden. A potential NBA great and his career was cut immeasurably short due to injuries.
Williamson has spent his whole life working to be in the NBA. He shouldn’t bow to the pressure of the media because they didn’t get their way. He should express his excitement as often as possible to be joining, likely, the Pelicans. If Williamson is willing to play with the Pelicans than he should not be given flack for making that choice.
If NOLA Won’t Work
Assuming Williamson comes out and says he would rather play for the Knicks though that is still better than going back to Duke. It would be more complicated for the teams seeing as there would likely be a three-team trade involving the Lakers, Knicks, and Pelicans. But in the end, the players would be happier and the fans would have Williamson in the NBA.