If it’s not good news, let’s not talk about Zion Williamson

It’s open season on Zion Williamson. The New Orleans Pelicans massive man was the topic of varied takedowns Friday after his workforce’s woeful displaying within the semifinals of the In-Season Match to the Lakers, 133-89. J.J. Redick, Shaquille O’Neal, the Instances-Picayune, and even an X account devoted to the Pels lined up on the dunk tank.

Shaq did his folksy “I know what greatness looks like” routine, Redick mentioned Zion isn’t taking himself seriously, the Instances-Picayune reported Williamson refuses to “listen” to instructions on weight loss plan and conditioning, and @ProPelsTalk put collectively a damning compilation of lowlights. In case you have a gripe with the younger man, air it now as a result of nobody goes to defend him.

And the way may you? There’s been points with well being, maturity, conditioning, you title it. The one factor he hasn’t achieved is present up on the police blotter, however after a couple of extra down years, detrimental information cycles, and the official bust label, I’m certain we are able to get him to the identical place Greg Oden was in circa 2014.

I wish to be explicitly clear: I’m not defending Williamson (or Oden). The Duke phenom’s professional profession is miserable as a result of so lots of the missteps are self-created. There was a lot pleasure and potential solely a few years in the past, and now we’ve reached a degree the place I don’t even wish to discuss him.

Clearly, I do know why he’s a narrative, however perhaps if we simply ignore Williamson, one thing will click on? You already know that good friend who has a very embarrassing screwup on their file? Whether or not it’s a wild arrest, psychological breakdown over a relationship, or no matter, they usually simply can’t dwell it down.

It looks like Williamson has had 4 or 5 of these over the previous calendar yr. If he can get out of his personal manner, and deal with these shortcomings, he’ll be tremendous. Perhaps not a super-duper star, however a “lovable fan favourite” for certain.

Nonetheless, I can’t start to think about how tough it should be to get previous one thing whenever you’re routinely sacrificed to the hot-take gods. It’s not like Williamson tried to escape accountability after the brutal loss to the Lakers. He referred to as out his personal effort, focus and protection. Whereas my guess is these phrases ring fairly hole within the locker room and among the many individuals who cowl the Pelicans, it didn’t warrant a dayslong roast.

This present model of Williamson is similar one which entered the league. His way of life could have value him top-level explosiveness, but weight points, accidents, and a scarcity of self-discipline have sadly been mainstays. What else is there to critique?

Zion has by no means appeared in a postseason recreation. In 4 seasons as a professional, he’s solely performed greater than 29 video games as soon as, and in that season, he didn’t make it to the tip of the yr both. Speaking about him as a severe basketball participant is like speaking about time journey as a actuality.

Once more, sports activities media has to say one thing. I’d simply fairly debate what sort of cheese the moon could be if it was fabricated from cheese, or the size of Brandon Ingram’s free move. Individuals maintain telling me he’s able to doing one thing, however that one thing solely seems to be good stats on play-in groups.

All I’m saying is what number of occasions can we dogpile on Zion Williamson for a similar precise flaws earlier than we’re simply bitching about water being moist?

Did San Antonio and Detroit proceed their respective shedding streaks?

Sure! The Pistons reached 19 straight losses with a 123-91 drubbing by the hands of the Orlando Magic. In the meantime in San Antonio, Victor Wembanyama’s 21 and 20 wasn’t sufficient to beat the Chicago Bulls. The 121-112 defeat was the Spurs Sixteenth-straight L. 

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