Pelicans teammates react to Zion Williamson’s Mardi Gras-themed gift
Though the No. 1 overall pick isn’t yet making the hefty dollars others like LeBron James are making, Williamson still impressed his Pelicans teammates with some Mardi Gras-colored Beats By Dre earphones with their last names and jersey numbers inscribed inside the holding case, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.
Jahlil Okafor gets a pair of wireless earphones with his last name and jersey No. 8 inscribed in the top inside of the case. Photo courtesy of Chris Haynes/Yahoo Sports.
Williamson’s generosity was met with warmth and amazement, as these are the kind of gestures typically reserved for veteran players with deep pockets:
“They’re dope,” Jahlil Okafor said of the earphones while he was actually using them. “He definitely blessed us. And with the Mardi Gras colors, he was creative. We didn’t know this was coming at all. Zion is definitely a real one.”
“It was an unexpected surprise for sure. But s**t, for him, it shouldn’t be because he’s making motherf***ing $150 million probably right now,” said Brandon Ingram in jest. “But seriously, that was really cool what he did. I think with all the young guys that we have on this team, we’re pretty close and things like that only brings us closer.”
Williamson is making shy of $10 million in his first year — a big payday for a rookie — but has already locked up a seven-year pact with Jordan Brand worth upward of $75 million.
The gifts were a way to build camaraderie and show his appreciation for his teammates, who waited half the season for his return from a meniscus tear. The Pelicans rookie explained why he did it:
“I just thought it would be a nice gift for everyone and I’m glad they all liked it,” Williamson told Yahoo Sports. “That’s what matters to me, is that my teammates are enjoying them. I see them wearing it and it’s cool. I just wanted to do something special for them.”
These brief displays of appreciation go a long way in developing team chemistry, something the Pelicans will need as they chase a playoff spot in Zion’s first year in the league.