Unfair to put major expectations on ‘kid’ Zion Williamson, says Alvin Gentry
New Orleans Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry knows that he has one of the most-hyped players under his wing. But at the end of the day, Gentry knows that Zion Williamson is just a ‘kid.’ It’s unfair to put major expectations on the rookie just because of his own hype.
Gentry spoke with the media on Wednesday where he discussed the hype surrounding Williamson vis-a-vis his age. He’s well-aware that Zion Williamson — like most rookies in the league — is essentially still a kid. As a coach, he is treating him as such despite his all-world talent. Gentry calls on the media to treat him fairly, too.
“Zion is a very mature kid. He’s a 20-year-old kid, and I think a lot of times we forget about that, as we did with LeBron (James). These guys are still kids. He does what all the 19 and 20-year-old people do, so I think we have to be a little bit careful about adding all these extra things on his shoulders. He’s here to play. He’s here to have a good time. Hopefully, he’ll be healthy enough to play and conditioned enough to play [for tomorrow night’s game]. But other than that, we should treat him like a 20-year-old. That’s what he deserves to be treated as. Zion handles it great. He’s a very, very mature kid. His parents have done a great job with him as far as being able to face this and do it in a real, real positive way.”
The Pelicans will return back to action on Thursday against the Utah Jazz. Gentry noted that Zion Williamson is a “game-time” decision, depending on how the rookie is feeling.