The NBA season is only a few weeks away from resuming. But by the looks of things, New Orleans Pelicans star Zion Williamson will not be there when it starts.
In an official statement from the team, the Pelicans announced that Zion has left the Orlando campus “to attend to an urgent family medical matter.” The team said that Zion intends to rejoin the team at a later date and expressed support for him.
“We fully support Zion’s decision to leave the NBA campus to be with his family,” Pelicans executive David Griffin said. “Out of respect for the Williamson family, we will have no further comment at this time.”
Unfortunately for the Pelicans, even if Zion does come back in a few days, he won’t be available for a while. The rules require that he undergo a two-week quarantine after leaving the campus. That will almost assuredly overlap with the resumed NBA season.
Zion Williamson update: pic.twitter.com/eShAPl1gB2
— New Orleans Pelicans (@PelicansNBA) July 16, 2020
It was widely believed that a big reason the NBA went with 22 teams in resuming the season was to give Zion a chance to get the national spotlight.
But it looks like that plan has been compromised. The Pelicans are 10-9 with Zion in the lineup and 18-26 without him.
New Orleans’ first game in Orlando will be on June 30 against the Utah Jazz. It will in all likelihood be a Zion-less game unless the NBA breaks its own rules to let him play.
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