Zion Williamson isn’t just one of the most incredible athletes we’ve seen in a generation. He’s arguably the most anticipated rookie talent since LeBron James, and aside from a knee injury that sidelined him for most of the first half of the season, Zion hasn’t disappointed here in his rookie season.
Zion continued his historic scoring streak this week of 13 straight games of 20 or more points, becoming the first player of his age to accomplish such a feat. Despite having just played a total of 17 games so far, there has been a lot of noise about him potentially surpassing Ja Morant for Rookie of the Year honors.
Still, there’s always the elephant in the room when it comes to any discussion about Zion, and that won’t go away anytime soon, at least until the star rookie finds a way to improve his perceived poor conditioning. Just don’t keep asking Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry about it, because his patience is pretty clearly starting to run dry.
Via Andrew Lopez of ESPN:
“I think he’s fine,” Gentry said. “We worry about him too freakin’ much, OK? He’s fine. He’s 19 years old. He’ll be fine.”
On the one hand, Gentry is absolutely right. There is plenty of time for Zion to find the right conditioning. But the chatter around it isn’t going to stop until that happens, especially considering the knee problem that caused him to miss 44 games of his rookie season. Right now, however, the Pelicans are still fighting for a playoff spot, and Zion has and will continue to be an integral part of that.