Zion Williamson, who was a force to be reckoned with early on in the season, appears to be getting some backlash from within his own team for deciding not play during an elimination game.
A healthy Williamson said he wasn’t ready to despite beigh healthy because he didn’t feel like himself mentally.
“Physically, I’m fine,” Williamson, who injured his right hamstring in early January, said Tuesday. “Now it’s just a matter of when I feel like Zion.
Pelicans just lost by 5 in the Play-In and Zion is completely healthy and didn’t even play,
— 𝙆𝙖𝙧𝙚𝙚𝙢 𝘽𝙪𝙧𝙣𝙚𝙧🐺🦍 (@Kareem_Burner) April 13, 2023
“I can pretty much do everything, but it’s just a matter of the level that I was playing at before my hamstring,” Williamson continued. “I don’t want to go out there and be in my own head and affect the team when I can just be on the sideline supporting them more, because I know myself. If I was to go out there, I would be in my head. I would hesitate on certain moves and it could affect the game.”
The Pelicans went to lose their play-in game vs the OKC Thunder without Zion and it appears his teammates weren’t happy about it.
While speaking to the media, Zion’s teammate CJ McCollum appeared to take a not-so-subtle shot at Zion.
“Availability is important, man. We’ve got to be available,” McCollum told reporters during his postgame media session. “We’ve got to do what we need to do off the court in terms of preparation, in terms of getting treatment, in terms of getting the right sleep, the right type of hydration, having the right type of diet.”
"We've got to be available. We've got to do what we need to do off the court in terms of preparation, in terms of getting treatment, in terms of getting the right sleep, the right type of hydration, having the right type of diet."
– CJ McCollum after Pelicans play-in loss pic.twitter.com/VkrCcAcIUN
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 13, 2023
Pelicans GM David Griffin also appeared to take a shot at Zion with his postgame comments.
“I think a big part is on him,” Griffin told NOLA.com. “I think there is a lot he can do better. And he would, I think, tell you that. I think we need to do a better job examining the whole situation top to bottom a little bit better.”