When ESPN’s Brian Windhorst floated out the possibility that Zion Williamson could spurn the New Orleans Pelicans and return to Duke for another season of college basketball, it sent the Internet into a bit of a frenzy. People began combing through Williamson’s reaction to the Pelicans snagging the first overall pick at Tuesday’s NBA Draft lottery like the Zapruder film, searching for any sign of disappointment or indication that Williamson was so appalled by the results that he’d forego millions of dollars and return to his alma mater.
On Thursday morning, Williamson and his step-father, Lee Anderson, doused that fire with water.
Anderson joined 104.5 ESPN in New Orleans Thursday morning and told the hosts that Williamson returning to Duke was “not something we’ve even considered,” and that Williamson was “excited at the prospect of getting settled and finding a place to stay” in New Orleans after speaking with Pelicans general manager David Griffin.
Stadium’s Shams Charania also reported that Williamson met with Pelicans brass, as well as members of the Memphis Grizzlies who hold the No. 2 pick in the draft, in Chicago following the lottery. Charania says that Williamson had actually pointed to the Pelicans as a place he’d like to begin his career before the lottery even happened, which is either a very cool thing or some incredible revisionist history.
Either way, it looks like Williamson won’t be turning down a sizable rookie contract and the biggest potential rookie sneaker deal in the history of the NBA to play another year of free basketball after all.