The regular season debut of New Orleans Pelicans rookie Zion Williamson will have to wait a couple of months.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the hyped phenom had surgery on Monday (October 21) to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee.
The recovery time is estimated at six to eight weeks, meaning Zion won't take the floor for the Pelicans until sometime in mid-December.
This is a disappointment for Zion and the Pelicans, of course, but also to the NBA as a whole and its various broadcast partners.
Zion is the most hyped rookie to enter the league since LeBron James, and given today’s instant gratification society, a lot of expectations are being placed on this young man.
He is expected to win championships, MVPs, move merchandise, bring people to the arena and eyeballs to various viewing screens.
The Pelicans will be on national TV 15 times by December 20. That’s more than all of last season for the team. That’s the level of impact Zion has.
During the preseason he averaged 23.3 points per game on 71.4% shooting. These are historic numbers for a rookie in preseason.
All of that will now have to wait. But, it’s for the better.
Zion is listed at 6-foot-7 and 285 pounds.
He is a large man who is very athletic and explosive. He puts a lot of stress and strain on his joints with that explosive athleticism.
If he wants to have a long NBA career, taking care of his body will be of the utmost importance.
There have been concerns that Zion might need to shed some weight and play somewhere in the 260 pound range, but the Pelicans' management isn’t concerned, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.
We will all just have to wait a little longer for the debut of Zion.
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