The New Orleans Pelicans are becoming the boy who cried wolf as far as their fan base is concerned. After dangling the possibility of a Zion Williamson return, the organization has again reverted back to the company line: “He will continue his rehabilitation.”
Everyone knows the book on Williamson by now. An incredible talent who cannot stay on the court- 114 games played in four years. After being sidelined for the last three months with a hamstring injury, patience and understanding appear to have run out. The media and fans alike expressed their frustration and astonishment over this latest bit of news, or lack there of.
Christian Clark of NOLA.com has witnessed much of the enigmatic Zion era, and bluntly addressed the elephant in the room (his rehab process), one so big it is a wonder how the Smoothie King Center has not yet imploded.
“In three of the four years Zion has been in the NBA, it’s taken him much longer to return from an injury than it should have. Something is not working. His approach. The team he’s put in place around him. New Orleans’ medical staff. Maybe all of it,” he Tweeted. Clearly, something in his rehab regimen needs to change.
In three of the four years Zion has been in the NBA, it’s taken him much longer to return from an injury than it should have.
Something is not working. His approach. The team he’s put in place around him. New Orleans’ medical staff. Maybe all of it.
— Christian Clark (@cclark_13) April 6, 2023
How the Pelicans medical staff thinks we are gonna react to another meaningless Zion update
— mike (@mikelovesherb) April 6, 2023
With Zion it’s clearly more than just bad injury luck
— Brett Usher (@UsherNBA) April 7, 2023
Willie Green has done an admirable job through Williamson's absence, leading the Pelicans to a 41-39 record that should warrant his name popping up on some Coach of the Year ballots. They are in eighth place, but do have a chance of still climbing out of the NBA Play-In Tournament and into the No. 6 seed. Without the face of the franchise, though, their ceiling in the postseason is not going be much higher than it is now.
The fact that the 22-year-old earned his first All-Star selection after playing just 29 games this season shows he is already one of the most recognizable and marketable stars in the league. His impact is also sorely missed on the court.
But what is craved more than all by these distraught fans is transparency from the organization, as evidenced by Twitter user Brandon Wojnarowski.
“Give us the Zion news you cowards, we ready for whatever at this point.”