The season started off so bright for Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans. At one point early in the campaign, they sat atop the conference where the Denver Nuggets now stand, the best team in the West.
But after another injury-plagued season, the Pelicans were trounced out early in the Play-In with Williamson unable to suit up at all. Few understand his full potential like CJ McCollum, one of the vets in New Orleans and current president of the NBPA. That's why McCollum has had “serious conversations” with Zion about being the only man stopping him from his own greatness, as he shared on a recent appearance on the Ryen Russillo podcast:
“I've had serious conversations with him on multiple occasions,” said CJ McCollum. “Not just me, Larry [Nance Jr.]. I've told him, ‘You can be as good as you wanna be, and that's not for everybody. … The level of the best version of [Zion Williamson] is a level that everybody can't get to.”
In his first four seasons with the Pelicans, Zion Williamson has played in just 114 games. That's not even a season and a half worth of on-court action. What's made his career so frustrating is that in those games he was one of the most dominant players.
“Your ceiling is unlike anything the NBA has ever seen,” McCollum claims he told Williamson. “But it's up to you to take full advantage of whatever that is. I can't want it for you. Mom can't want it to you. Dad can't want it to you. Staff can't want it to you. So it's up to you to decide what that looks like. … You've got to figure out what you want to do with this game because this game will go where you take it.”
Pelicans fans want nothing else than for Zion Williamson to heed that advice.