514 days. That’s how long Zion Williamson was away from the game after spending the entirety of the 2021-22 campaign on the sidelines due to a lingering foot injury. He’s back now, though, and he’s gotten nothing but love from the mean, sometimes-loving streets of Twitter.
After scoring his first two points via an and-1 putback slam (what else did you expect from him?), Zion then followed that up with an emphatic baseline slam after completely blowing by Chicago Bulls big man Patrick Williams in the post.
NBA Twitter was absolutely loving it, and the keyboard warriors showered the Pelicans superstar with love on his first game back:
Zion is absolutely fascinating to watch man. He moves around like a fat cat 95% of the time and you go, "what's the big deal with this guy?" then BAM his head is above the rim on some superhero shit.
— Barry (@BarryOnHere) October 5, 2022
I’m watching Zion defensively, he looks fucking awesome.
Active, good rotations and hitting the boards hard.
Great start for the Pels
— Pro Pels Talk (@ProPelsTalk) October 5, 2022
Watching Zion play makes me smile a big smile. It's so good to have him back.
— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) October 5, 2022
NBA reporter Keith Smith hit the nail on the head here. You can’t be a fan of the game and not love to see Zion Williamson back. Regardless if you’re a fan of the 22-year-old or not, it’s just great to finally see him back on the court doing what he does best.
The best part about it is that Zion himself had a pretty big smile on his face throughout his debut — and for good reason. It is clear that he’s just happy to be back in action again after such a lengthy injury hiatus:
Zion smiling the whole time man. Gotta love it
— KENNY BEECHAM (@KOT4Q) October 5, 2022
All these stars returning the last couple days is just good vibes
— Caiden (basketball enjoyer) 🚀 (@caidenhtx) October 5, 2022
If Zion Williamson is able to stay healthy this season, there’s little doubt that the Pelicans are going to be a very dangerous group. New Orleans made it to the playoffs last season even without Zion in the mix, and they’re now hoping to become a real threat in the Western Conference now that he’s back.