Sources confirmed that he has begun some light, on-court work with the team in recent days, but he still has a decent amount of work ahead of him before getting close to his pro debut. So, the gloomy drumbeat just kept on playing and those who were hoping Zion would be swooping in to save the day in the coming weeks, well, it’s time to temper those expectations.
Christian Clark: Today is 6 weeks since Zion Williamson's surgery. He has not started on-court work. Alvin Gentry: "Obviously, he’s itching to get back on the court and be able to do basketball things. In these situations, you sometimes have to protect players from themselves."
Will Guillory: Alvin Gentry says Zion Williamson still hasn't been on-court activities but he hopes to get the rookie phenom going soon. Says the team will continue to be cautious with him until he's right.
There's still no exact date set for Zion Williamson's return to the court, but New Orleans Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin said the No. 1 overall pick is "getting better literally every day."
"He's progressing exactly as we had hoped he would," Griffin told the radio station. With the Pelicans on a three-game road trip, Williamson stayed back in New Orleans to continue his rehab process. "We're really optimistic, and most importantly, Zion is really excited and that's where we want him to be," Griffin said.
The original timeline for Williamson's surgery, which happened on Oct. 20, was six to eight weeks. Griffin said that while Williamson is on schedule, it's more likely he comes back at the latter end of that timeline. "Right now, I think we're on target for eight weeks," Griffin said. "Probably not to the day, but in and around that."
The Render: According to Reggie Miller, Zion Williamson will be back by mid-December. "A little birdie whispered in my ear that his rehab is on schedule and he will definitely be back by mid-December."
Will Guillory: Zion kills any thoughts of him sitting out much longer than the projected 6-8 weeks: "I'm not even gonna miss half of the season."
Glen "Big Baby" Davis says Zion Williamson needs to lose weight ASAP ... 'cause he tells TMZ Sports being the same size as the Pelicans star cost him his NBA career! "That’s one of the reasons why I stopped playing was because of my weight," Glen says. New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram was not listed on the injury report Sunday evening and will be cleared to play Monday night against the Brooklyn Nets. Ingram left Saturday's game against the Oklahoma City Thunder with a head injury and did not play in the second half.
Davis says he was just too damn heavy during his playing days at around 289 pounds ... and blames the weight for 2015 ankle and foot issues that ultimately ended his NBA career.
Good news for Pelicans and NBA fans alike: Star rookie Zion Williamson (torn meniscus) has been in tremendous spirits and has attacked his rehab, according to sources.
Enter Salley ... who says Zion can turn the ship around if he turns his diet around. "My message to Zion? Go vegan, bro. Drink a bunch of water and find out the best way to heal your body, meaning ... not just ultrasounds, not just a hot tub, don't take pills." The 4-time NBA champ says Zion was destined to become teammates with Jahlil Okafor, who recently made the switch to "mostly" veganism and lost 20 pounds ... and Salley wants Williamson to listen to the vet. "Jahlil Okafor will put you on the whole path on losing that weight, getting your knee back in position and playing."
Are you confident he'll return before the end of 2019? David Griffin: Yeah, I would say so. I think he's going to be pushing us to let him come back a lot sooner than we want to, but I think if everything lines up the way we want it to we're very comfortable he'll do that.
Unfortunately for Griffin and the Pelicans, No. 1 overall pick Zion Williamson was not in attendance following surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee on Monday. Williamson is expected to miss six to eight weeks. “I would have loved for Zion to be there,” Griffin told The Undefeated. “But the way the surgery took place, you just weren’t able to move him. You don’t want to travel right afterwards. And you certainly didn’t want to wait to get the process done. There is no sense having him come up here and answer a whole bunch of questions when we knew what was going to happen. “We just wanted to take care of him as soon as possible. But absolutely, we would have liked him to see this.”
Sources with knowledge of the situation have told The Athletic that Williamson and the Pelicans cannot pinpoint one specific moment when the injury occurred.
Coach Alvin Gentry told reporters last week that Williamson may have suffered the injury on Oct. 13 against the Spurs. But Williamson had not felt pain or swelling in the lead up to the injury revelation and there was no specific moment of physical trauma suffered that either he or the organization can point to regarding the injury, according to sources.
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.
Finding Greg Oden's name trending on Twitter on October 21 isn't what the NBA had in mind just one day before Zion Williamson's expected regular-season debut against the defending champions. But that's where the NBA finds itself after the New Orleans Pelicans revealed the No. 1 overall pick underwent surgery to remove debris from a torn meniscus. "The term 'debridement' suggests Williamson was able to undergo a meniscectomy in which the damaged tissue was removed," Jeff Stotts of InStreetClothes.com told me.
"The estimated timeline is exactly that, an estimate," Stotts said. "It seems likely Zion's recovery will be fluid, meaning he will be assessed as he progresses through rehab and treatment. The Pelicans medical staff will likely take a conservative approach and won't rush a return."
Will Guillory: David Griffin emphasizes he doesn't see Zion Williamson's weight as an issue with his rehab process: "The kid is a freak of nature." The team wants to take cautious approach, but Griff said Zion will be pushing to come back earlier than 6-8 week timeline.
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.
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 30, 2022 | 9:42 am EDT Update
Jake Fischer on PJ Tucker going to Philadelphia: ‘I’ve heard Joel Embiid is on board, … also PJ’s agent resides in Philly. There’s one thing that I know for sure. He has wanted to get paid. He has been a journeyman in this league for years and years and years and years, a mercenary role player on all these contending teams. To my knowledge, I don’t think he’s made over 10 million a year. He’s wanted a double digit salary.
Jake Fischer: ‘Kyrie Irving definitely was considering taking the taxpayer mid-level exception to play for the Lakers before he opted in. That’s just the truth. He was definitely talking about it with people in his circle. And people on the league, we’re talking about that reality, because that was the only way for him to get to the Lakers this season.
The Lakers have a strong interest in retaining Monk, but it will depend on both his market and the quality of 3-and-D wings available to Los Angeles, according to league sources. Players the Lakers will target with their full taxpayer midlevel exception include Otto Porter Jr., Nicolas Batum, Gary Harris, T.J. Warren, Caleb Martin, Cody Martin, Mo Bamba and Danuel House Jr., according to multiple league sources. Players the Lakers will be interested in for the partial midlevel exception or minimum contracts include Nemanja Bjelica, Jeremy Lamb, Jevon Carter and Juan Toscano-Anderson, according to league sources.
Brittney Griner’s trial for allegedly taking hashish oil into Russia is scheduled to begin Friday. At that point it will have been 134 days since the WNBA star was taken into custody while trying to enter the country through a Moscow-area airport. She faces 10 years in prison if convicted. But before the trial even begins, U.S. experts and officials say Griner will be the subject of a show trial, and a guilty verdict is almost a certainty. The entire exercise, they say, is a negotiation tactic to push the Biden administration into trading for her freedom. “It’s a foregone conclusion and the trial is to uphold the state and confirm the power of the state,” says William Pomeranz, the acting director of the Wilson Center’s Kennan Institute in Washington, D.C., and an expert on Russian law. “Justice is not the immediate issue.”
Sources close to Griner declined to say how she intends to plead, but experts say that with no chance of acquittal it would make strategic sense to just plead guilty now. That might cause headaches for the U.S. State Department and the White House, but it could make Griner’s life more bearable, and a deal to go home more likely.
June 30, 2022 | 9:08 am EDT Update
Jake Fischer: Sounds like Isaiah Hartenstein has another suitor: the New York Knicks. No guest, just taking your questions on @getcallin at 4pmET, to help set the table one last time before the free agency horn blares. Make sure to create an account and tune in: callin.com/link/EaFCnvABtD