New Orleans Pelicans star Zion Williamson will likely miss the entirety of his third season in the NBA.
On NBA Media Day back on September 27, 2021, it was first announced that Zion Williamson had broken his right foot over the summer and undergone subsequent surgery. The news was shocking, but both Zion and David Griffin, the New Orleans Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations, assured everyone that he would be on the court by Opening Night.
Fast forward nearly six months to today and Zion has yet to play in an NBA game this season, and The Athletic’s Shams Charania has reported that Williamson is not expected to return at all.
The news doesn’t come as much of a surprise with only 10 games remaining in the regular season and after previous setback after setback. But it’s a huge bummer nevertheless to see the 2021-22 NBA season completely robbed of one of its premiere signature young talents.
In his sophomore season in the NBA last year, Zion was an absolute beast — a sudden behemoth with a stout and robust scoring efficiency in the paint. Zion was an All-Star (the fourth-youngest ever) and put up some ridiculous numbers, averaging 27.0 points per game while shooting 61.1 percent from the field. Out of the 61 games Zion played in 2020-21, he scored 20 or more points an astounding 54 times!
Even before last season, Zion was a revelation. He averaged 22.5 points per game as a rookie. And through the first 20 games of his career, he scored the most points by a player in the NBA in their first 20 games since one Michael Jordan. He didn’t stop at 20 games, either.
Injury updates is unfortunately familiar territory for Zion Williamson
However, Zion’s rookie season was cut significantly short due to injury. A torn right meniscus in the preseason that required surgery caused him to miss the first 44 games of his career. Even his sensational second year last season did not see Williamson go unscathed. A broken finger kept him out the final two weeks.
Going back to his college days at Duke and high school at Spartanburg Day, injuries have unfortunately been a prevalent part of Zion’s basketball career. Given his size and the soaring nature of his game, it’s difficult not to wonder at this point if he’ll ever be able to stay healthy and on the court. But it’s also important to remember that he is only 21 years old, and he has always bounced back and persevered before.
History loves to repeat itself. And Zion loves to make history.