The words that not a single living basketball fan wanted to hear or read — New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson is listed as out with right knee soreness for the team’s final preseason game against the Knicks. He did not travel with the team to New York today and remained in New Orleans to undergo further testing and evaluation at Ochsner Sports Medicine — were immediately heard round the world earlier today.
For those speculating, it’s wise to not jump to any conclusions, but at the same time, it’s completely safe to say that this isn’t some routine day of rest for the first overall pick of the 2019 NBA Draft.
- Tomorrow’s contest against the Knicks represents the final tune-up for the Pelicans before the regular season begins next Tuesday in Toronto. In previous years, Alvin Gentry made a habit of treating the last exhibition game like the real thing, whereby intensity, rotations and lineups more closely resembled contests that will count against a team’s record.
- The fact that Zion isn’t traveling with the team and the injury was significant enough for the PR department to issue the announcement to media is usually cause for some concern. The phrase “undergo further testing and evaluation,” however, takes the cake. No consensus has been reached. Why???
- Then there was Adrian Wojnarowski on ESPN confirming it’s quite acceptable to have a nightmare or two sometime later tonight.
Just now on ESPN: @wojespn says Pelicans are being cautious with Zion’s injury. Hope to know more in 24 hours and this isn’t a typical preseason ‘rest’ situation.— Andrew Lopez (@_Andrew_Lopez) October 17, 2019
While Woj stressed that the Pelicans are being cautious, he did state that this isn’t a typical preseason rest situation.
So, is the tightrope going to be placed five or 500 feet off the ground?
If you may recall, Zion was shut down during summer league play with a bruised left knee. While the injury isn’t to the same leg as his latest mishap, David Griffin almost immediately massaged fears across Pels Nation by stating, “Zion will move forward from this incident without issue.”
We’re just days from the start of the regular season, yet we’re left praying we soon receive a strikingly similar message.