Ex-NBA star Stephen Jackson slaps Zion Williamson for Pelicans’ missed opportunity in cruicial showdown vs Thunder

Former NBA player Stephen Jackson recently weighed in on New Orleans Pelicans’ star Zion Williamson absence during the playoffs, suggesting that the young player should make more of an effort to get back on the court. Speaking about Williamson’s $194 million contract, Jackson acknowledged that he had already achieved a great deal in his career, despite only having played in 114 games so far.

“Despite his weight issues, there was no doubt about Williamson going in as the 1st pick in the 2019 NBA Draft,” Jackson said. “The man had the biggest hype for a high school player since LeBron James. The Pelicans made no mistake in doing the right thing at the time, but he is in the last year of his contract worth over $44 million.”

Jackson went on to compare Williamson’s achievements to those of Ja Morant and RJ Barrett, suggesting that they had both led their franchises to two playoffs in the same time period. He then addressed Williamson directly, suggesting that his teammates would respect him more if he made more of an effort to play during the playoffs.

“I think your teammates [Pelicans] will respect you more if you try to give it a shot. This is the playoffs, this is not preseason,” Jackson said. “It was surely a shot at Williamson.”

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Jackson’s comments came after the Pelicans were eliminated from the playoffs without Williamson, marking the second straight season in which they had made the postseason without their star player. While Williamson has made it to two All-Star teams in his four years in the league, his limited playing time has left some questioning whether he is living up to his potential.

“We’ve got to be available. We’ve got to do what we need to do off the court in terms of preparation, in terms of getting treatment, in terms of getting the right sleep, the right type of hydration, having the right type of diet.”- CJ McCollum after Pelicans play-in loss.

Despite these criticisms, there is no doubt that Williamson is a valuable asset to the Pelicans, and the team will undoubtedly be eager to keep him on board for the long haul. As his contract winds down, it remains to be seen whether he will continue to live up to his early hype and help the Pelicans reach new heights.

Zion Williamson acknowledges mental hurdle of returning to the Pelicans for postseason run

New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson has confirmed he is physically fine, but the decision on his return will be based on his mental readiness. Williamson has been out of the team since January due to a hamstring injury. Speaking ahead of the Pelicans’ play-in matchup with the Oklahoma City Thunder, he said, “physically I’m fine, now it’s just a matter of when I feel like Zion.” He added that the atmosphere he would be returning to in the playoffs made the decision a mental battle.

Williamson explained that he did not want to negatively impact the team because of any lingering hesitation due to his injury. If the Pelicans beat the Thunder on Wednesday, they will advance to face the loser of Tuesday’s game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Minnesota Timberwolves.

Williamson confirmed that his return would be a collective decision between him and the team. Despite the online noise, Williamson said he has tried his best to focus on the bigger picture and is frustrated at not being able to play basketball.


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