Zion admits he ‘could have done better’ in past off-court aspects with Pelicans

While visiting the team in Las Vegas for Summer League, the Pelicans star made a surprise appearance on Gil’s Arena podcast
Published: Jul. 12, 2023 at 10:47 AM CDT|Updated: Jul. 12, 2023 at 11:30 AM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - When New Orleans Pelicans star Zion Williamson plays basketball, he puts up historic numbers and his team wins games.

However, now entering his fifth year in the NBA, Zion’s availability has limited the young franchise cornerstone from doing what he does best.

His early career has been plagued with criticisms surrounding his ability to focus in the offseason when it comes to being physically ready to bounce back from injury. Recent social media controversies surrounding Zion, 23, have also brought into question his readiness to be a professional.


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This offseason, there were rumors that the Pelicans were even possibly interested in trading Zion on draft night for a chance to move up the board, a move that would have had historic implications if the former No. 1 overall pick in 2019 were to be moved in just a few short years.


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Despite whether or not there was serious weight to rumors, the Pelicans, for now, have opted to stay the course, holding on to Zion and fellow star Brandon Ingram, and buying into the continued development of young players like Trey Murphy and Herb Jones.

So far this offseason, Zion has been rehabbing from his most recent hamstring injury and he’s spending this week in Las Vegas with the organization who are there monitoring rookies and younger players competing in Summer League.

While in Las Vegas, Zion made a surprise appearance on Gil’s Arena podcast, hosted by former NBA star Gilbert Arenas. During the discussion, Zion reflected on the start of his career and expressed some regrets but that he’s committed to turning things around.

“There are a lot of things I could have done better. I didn’t,” Zion said. “I’m in the process of fixing those things.”

Zion admitted to having an “invincibility” mindset as a young player and said that he wished he had listened more to the advice of people that were trying to help him stay on the court.

“What I can say is, I do respect brutal honesty,” Zion said. “I’d rather somebody be brutally honest with me than try to sugarcoat it. Because at the end of the day, if they’re honest with me, I know what I need to do to fix it.”

When the Pelicans were the No. 1 seed in the West back in December, Zion looked like an early dark horse MVP candidate, averaging 26 points per game on 60 percent shooting.

In January, however, Zion’s hamstring injury sidelined him for the remainder of the season, with a total of 29 game appearances.


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