Zion Williamson's Family is Already Putting Pressure on Pelicans' Front Office
By Liam McKeone
This week has been an absolute rollercoaster of NBA news and today was no exception. After the New Orleans Pelicans fired Stan Van Gundy, The Athletic published a report on Thursday detailing how things went wrong behind the scenes and specifically how the happenings have affected Zion Williamson, the organization's Tier 1 superstar.
The article details how Williamson's family feels the Pelicans have not lived up to the standards that a superstar demands in the NBA, and some have not been subtle in their feelings that he should be playing elsewhere. Per The Athletic:
Parting ways with Stan Van Gundy after just one season is not the biggest problem facing the New Orleans Pelicans. They have been unable to put together the right elements to make rising star Zion Williamson and his family happy, and multiple sources have told The Athletic that certain family members want Williamson on another team.
And then there's this:
But for most of this season, certain Williamson family members voiced displeasure with the organization. Among the targets of their criticism was Van Gundy, who they felt was too rigid and demanding as head coach, but also with the organization, which they claim did not live up to what they felt should be the standard for a star like Williamson. Numerous opposing league executives had heard the complaints, and they were confirmed by Pelicans officials.
In terms of the man himself, the article merely notes that Williamson wants to play basketball and compete at the highest level.
Those who know Williamson well say he just wants to win and compete at the highest level. They say he remains focused on basketball and helping New Orleans win next season.
So in short, there isn't anything concrete here indicating Williamson is going anywhere. Yet. It is mighty concerning to have any rumor of discontent coming from anybody in his camp after only two years with the organization.
But then again, that's the new NBA. Superstars have more freedom of movement than ever and understand the power they hold over their franchises. Williamson's family sounding off on the Pelicans via media is just another way to put pressure on the front office to make the right decisions, and make those decisions immediately.
As noted in the piece, the Pelicans have a lot of big decisions to make this offseason, most notably about the future of impending free agents Lonzo Ball and Josh Hart. If they don't make the right call, we'll start hearing more things like this sooner rather than later.