On May 7, New England Pelicans forward Zion Williamson was ruled out for the remainder of the 2020-2021 season due to a hand injury, and a team exec blamed league officials for poor officiating. Now, soon to enter his third year in the NBA, Williamson is set to play for a third new coach as well, so the superstar’s family has allegedly seen enough and wants him out of “The Big Easy.”
Williamson himself has remained consistent and humble in the assertion that he simply loves “going out there and having fun… and trying to win.” According to The Athletic, however, the real grumbles of discontent have been coming from those around him. The league may have even begun keeping a close watch on “Williamson’s family members’ thinly-veiled unhappiness with the Pelicans and whether those feelings seeped into the player’s own views.”
Although the Pels were inconsistent yet promising at the midyear mark, the team finished the regular season in 11th place under new head coach Stan Van Gundy, barely missing the postseason play-in tournament. This unfortunate ending led to Van Gundy and the Pelicans going their separate ways after only one year. But Williamson’s family reportedly had it out for Van Gundy because he was “too rigid and demanding as head coach” anyway, and so he had become one of their “targets of criticism,” too.
Someone who was more outspoken about his feelings on the Pelicans’ poor organizational management was NBA veteran JJ Redick. After playing in New Orleans for the 2019–20 season, he says he asked the team for a trade to a team in the Northeast so he could play closer to family. But after being told they would “get [him] to a situation that [he] would like,” the sharpshooter was sent to the Dallas Mavericks instead – and Williamson supposedly took notice.
“Truthfully… I think I was a little naïve thinking I was in Year 15, and I attempted to do things right throughout my career,” said Redick in late March on his podcast The Old Man and the Three. “But in terms of [the Pelicans’] front office, yeah, it’s not something where I would expect certainly the agents who worked on this with me to ever trust that front office again.”
Watch the clip below and let us know: Is Williamson’s family is right to be concerned, or are they just looking out for themselves and hurting his reputation in the process? Check out some of the reactions in the gallery below.