Now, Williamson’s rehabilitation could mean less weight-lifting and more strategic planning, but the Pelicans plan to figure out the best method while letting Zion be Zion, and that does not include managing his weight.
The Pelicans do not believe Williamson’s frame contributed to his torn meniscus, nor do they believe it will be an issue moving forward, sources have told The Athletic. He was drafted with everyone involved knowing how special he is at his size and frame. Now, Williamson’s rehabilitation could mean less weight-lifting and more strategic planning, but the Pelicans plan to figure out the best method while letting Zion be Zion, and that does not include managing his weight.
Zion Williamson climbed onto the training table inside the New Orleans Pelicans’ practice facility last Wednesday and finally admitted something. That’s when the prized rookie informed the staff that he felt some tightness in his right knee, sources have told The Athletic. This admission came three days after a dominant 22-point, 10-rebound game against the San Antonio Spurs — which had been followed by a day off on Monday and a full participatory day of practice on Tuesday.
Once Williamson informed the Pelicans of how his knee felt, the team took the proactive measure of having him sit out the live practice on Wednesday and undergo an MRI. It was expected to be a precautionary MRI, but results showed a torn meniscus, and on Monday, Williamson underwent arthroscopic surgery and was ruled out six to eight weeks. Sources with knowledge of the situation have told The Athletic that Williamson and the Pelicans cannot pinpoint one specific moment when the injury occurred.
Chris Haynes: New Orleans rookie Zion Williamson will undergo further evaluations on right knee today and possibly tomorrow, but the organization is relieved the forward has avoided any major longterm issues, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.
Adrian Wojnarowski: A severe injury has been ruled out for Zion Williamson’s right knee, but he is expected to miss period of weeks to start regular season, league sources tell ESPN. Pels are clearly treating injury with an abundance of caution but there’s no shortage of confidence on full recovery.
Michael Gallagher: FWIW on ESPN, Woj said it’s “not your normal preseason rest” on Zion and there is knee soreness.
Zion Williamson's NBA Summer League experience ended after one half of basketball. And his former coach thinks he never should've played Summer League to begin with. "No, I thought really he never should've played just because he's been on this circuit of awards, the ESPYs, everything," Coach K told me at the Peach Jam in North Augusta, S.C., where he's recruiting this week. "I don't think he's in the playing shape or the mental shape to play."
"Yeah, he's OK," said Coach K, who remains in touch with both Williamson and Barrett, whom he says will end up being just fine with the Knicks despite his early Summer League struggles. "Zion will move forward from this issue without incident," said Pelicans executive VP David Griffin. "However, in an abundance of caution, we have made the determination that he will not appear in game action for the remainder of the NBA Summer League. He will continue to take part in training and conditioning with our performance team."
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 | 1:35 pm EDT Update
Kyrie Irving needs a trade partner to coordinate an agreement on a deal to get a long-term, maximum contract, but only the Lakers have interest in executing a sign-and-trade once free agency opens on Thursday night, sources said. So far, the Nets have no interest in taking back the available Lakers packages, sources said.
The uncertainty surrounding Irving’s future with the Nets continues to leave the franchise vulnerable to a Kevin Durant trade request, but that has yet to materialize, sources said. Durant has four years left on his contract and remained an advocate for the Nets to commit to a long-term deal for Irving, sources said. Numerous teams around the league are preparing to pursue Durant, one of the elite players in the sport, if he becomes available.
Darren Wolfson: Told no QO coming for Josh Okogie … Look for McKinley Wright to play Vegas Summer League for a different organization. He should be able to land a 2-way elsewhere. #Timberwolves #RaisedbyWolves
The Guelph Nighthawks announced today the signing of former NBA 1st Round Draft Pick and Toronto Raptor Lucas Nogueira. Also known as Bebê, Nogueira is a 7’0” centre from Sao Goncalo, Brazil and will join the Nighthawks as an International Designated Player.
June 27, 2022 | 1:04 pm EDT Update
Jake Fischer: Sources with knowledge of the situation have increasingly believed Kyrie Irving’s willingness to opt out of Brooklyn, sign the $6M taxpayer midlevel with the Lakers, where Irving can re-sign long-term in 2023. More on @getcallin with @BigWos at 7:30ET: https://t.co/Qyn7Obfi2P