Injury has benched the No. 1 draft pick for much of his budding career, and a new FAQ update released by ESPN gives a better glimpse into where his recovery process is and how the New Orleans Pelicans organization has tried to support Williamson in numerous ways to get the former Duke star back on the court.
As cited by ESPN reporters Brian Windhorst and Andrew Lopez, the Pelicans have utilized several resources to try and maintain Williamson’s health, including a switching around of their culinary staff to have one that better suits him.
“The Pelicans have poured resources, time and energy to protect Williamson’s health,” they report. “They have changed members of the staff and even changed some of their culinary practices in an attempt to support him. They have talked with him about protecting his body from extra hits.”
Along with that, the Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin has also gone out of his way to send videos to league officials showing how Williamson would be fouled in games to implore for more protection to the player with better officiating. After that didn’t work, Griffin criticized the referees publicly in a press conference and was fined $50,000.
Regarding when Zion will make his return to the court, the Pelicans are still unsure as he has been cleared for contact practice after sustaining a fractured right foot injury during the off-season. The Pelican’s hope is that the resources they’re pouring into Zion to keep him healthy will make him want to sign a contract extension with them in the following off-season.