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New Orleans Pelicans in the News: Zion Williamson’s charitable donation, Lonzo Ball working on his bag and Josh Hart jigsaw puzzling

What have the guys been up to during the first few days of this mandated NBA suspension?

Minnesota Timberwolves v New Orleans Pelicans Photo by Layne Murdoch Jr./NBAE via Getty Images

The NBA is in the midst of a 30-day hiatus at a minimum — well to be fair, we’re just days into a nightmare of sorts for game action-starved fans far and wide — as the the COVID-19 pandemic has suspended play for the time being across all sporting platforms. It’s anyone’s guess as to whether the 2019-20 regular season and playoffs can be saved, but the players have suddenly been blessed with the gift — or curse — of free time.

Zion Williamson deserves the first paragraph of the main body of this article because he announced on Instagram yesterday that he was going to pay the salaries for all Smoothie King Center workers over the next 30 days.

It’s an incredibly gracious gesture for a 19-year-old who is wise beyond his years, but we’ve known since New Orleans picked him first overall in the 2019 NBA Draft that Zion had the potential to be more than just a phenom.

“He’s certainly a special basketball player,” Duke’s head coach Mike Krzyzewski once said of Williamson. “But as a youngster, he has a maturity — it’s uncommon. It really is uncommon.”

As many have eloquently said, Zion gets it.

Lonzo Ball, who was eager to get some shots up right after the Pelicans-Kings matchup was canceled this past Wednesday, was apparently able to satisfy that desire earlier today inside the Pelicans’ practice facility in Metairie.

Lonzo Ball Instagram story

According to ESPN’s Andrew Lopez, New Orleans’ practice facilty is open to all players wanting to get some work in, like honing their jump shots or maintaining their conditioning (notice the ice packs on Lonzo’s knees), but it sounds like the team is yet to write anything in stone regarding future team practices or scrimmages.

Josh Hart, meanwhile, has given us a glimpse into his daily life via his Instagram and Twitter accounts. He’s posted a screen shot of a video game on his computer — yeah, he’s an avid gamer, a couple of videos involving his dog — which included a trip to The Dog Stop in Metairie, and issued a 30-day challenge to finish the following jigsaw puzzle.

Josh Hart Instagram story

Sorry everyone, this isn’t the news you want, but it’s all we’ve got at this point. Begone soon coronavirus!