Malika Andrews: Zion Williamson is done for the evening, the Pelicans PR says. He took a knee to knee hit (left knee) and won’t return. They do not expect it to be a lingering injury.
Many suggested Williamson, projected to be selected first in the 2019 NBA Draft, should have ended his collegiate career and focused on preparing for life as a professional. But as he prepares to make his return against Syracuse in the quarter-finals of the ACC Tournament on Thursday, Williamson says that was not an option for him. "For the people that think I should stop playing in college and just focus on the NBA: thanks, but no thanks," he told NCAA.com.
Duke Basketball: NEWS: Zion will miss tonight’s game at UNC as he continues to recover from a Grade 1 right knee sprain.
Marc J. Spears: Duke says forward Zion Williamson is out today versus Miami as he continues to recover from a Grade 1 right knee sprain.
But he’s emphatic when asked about Duke freshman sensation Zion Williamson, whose knee injury renewed the heated debate over the NBA’s eligibility rules. “Why would you keep playing?” Drummond said Friday morning. “All the money that they making off this kid, why wouldn’t he just sit out? “He’s selling out arenas. People pay $10,000 to see him and he gets hurt and gets none of that money spent to see him play. You have to think about yourself because you could have a career-ending injury and that’s the rest of the story for him. I’d rather him take care of himself and get himself prepared. We all know he’s going to the draft so start working out and get yourself ready for a tough, grueling league.”
"Whatever he decides to do, he should be supported," Griffin said following the Pistons' 125-122 victory over the Atlanta Hawks. "If he didn't want to play anymore, I get it. But if you do want to play, he plays basketball, he's a basketball player. I also get that, too. You can't live or play the game of basketball playing scared of injury or scared of things you can't control. "It's an individual decision. I made the decision (to return to OU for his sophomore season) to improve my game. I wanted to get stronger and be more ready for the league when a lot of people were telling me not to, get that guaranteed money. "He's already made so money for that university, the NCAA, he doesn't owe anybody anything."
For two days, former and current NBA players weighed in on what Williamson’s next step should be; call it a career and prepare for the draft or rejoin his Duke teammates when healthy? “It’s a tough call,” said former Syracuse All-America Billy Owens, the third overall pick of the 1991 draft. “There’s a lot of money out there. I don’t think he should risk it.” “I know I would play,” said Coleman, who sat beside Owens. “As long as he’s healthy, why shouldn’t he play? He’s got a chance to win a national championship.”
Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said he has not had any conversations with Williamson or his family about shutting down the freshman star and projected No. 1 overall NBA draft pick, who missed Saturday's 75-65 victory over Syracuse with a mild knee sprain. Williamson suffered the injury 36 seconds into Wednesday's loss to rival North Carolina.
"We would never play a kid who's not ready," Krzyzewski said. "We would never play a youngster who didn't want to play. It's not about that. He wants to play. He loves being at Duke. He doesn't like being injured. It's an injury you can get over in a shorter period of time. There's just a protocol that we have to go through to make sure he's completely ready. We're not rushing anything, so that's why we said day-to-day because it's literally day-to-day."
Nike’s sneaker rivals, who are already pouncing on its sneaker snafu on Twitter, could seek to use the viral moment to convince Williamson — a top NBA draft pick — to wear their apparel instead of Nike’s once he turns pro, experts said. “Money is the most important consideration, along with your belief in the product — and that’s maybe not in Nike’s corner at the moment,” said sports lawyer Daniel Wallach.
“If he’s able to come back in the next game, or soon enough, then all of this goes away,” Wallach said. But if the injury was to prove more serious, then “this is a quintessential liability lawsuit,” Wallach said.
Royce Young: Paul George on Zion Williamson’s injury and situation with his shoes, says he talked with Nike to find out what went wrong: pic.twitter.com/pJ3N6CEdMj
Anthony Slater: DeMarcus Cousins: “Knowing what I know now, college basketball is b-------.” Advises Zion Williamson to get ready for the NBA. pic.twitter.com/k3B1JA0E42
Logan Murdock: Full quote from DeMarcus Cousins on the NCAA being “bullshit” and his advice to Duke’s Zion Williamson. pic.twitter.com/AcBmNokkPc
Duke freshman sensation Zion Williamson suffered a mild knee sprain in the first half against North Carolina on Wednesday, coach Mike Krzyzewski said after the game. Just 33 seconds into the contest, Williamson ripped through his shoe and winced in pain while grabbing the back of his leg. The 6'7", 275-pound forward left for the locker room immediately afterward and did not return. "We’re very concerned about Zion," Krzyzewski said. "It’s a mild knee sprain. We will know about length of time tomorrow but it's stable so that's good, but obviously it changes the game. We were knocked back a bit but we fought like crazy."
Isaiah Thomas: Let these kids go straight out of HS!!! Too much on the line to be messing with college if you got a legit chance to turn pro. One injury can change somebody career, Zion sit yo ass down lol and we will be ready for you in the big boy league #LookingOutForThePlayers
Donovan Mitchell: Again let’s remember all the money that went into this game.... and these players get none of it.... and now Zion gets hurt... something has to change @NCAA
“We are obviously concerned and want to wish Zion a speedy recovery,” a Nike spokesman told The Post in a statement via email. “The quality and performance of our products are of utmost importance. While this is an isolated occurrence, we are working to identify the issue.”
June 27, 2022 | 12:29 pm EDT Update
Adrian Wojnarowski: ESPN Sources: Outside of the Lakers, there are currently no known teams planning pursuit of sign-and-trades for Nets G Kyrie Irving. No sign-and-trades can be formally discussed until after 6 PM on Thursday. Brooklyn isn’t believed to have interest in available Lakers packages.
June 27, 2022 | 11:48 am EDT Update
While Nets GM Sean Marks and superstar forward Kevin Durant have yet to speak this offseason, Kyrie Irving’s camp has requested and received permission from the Nets to speak with other teams about sign-and-trade packages, according to multiple sources familiar with the situation.