The NBA was dealt a blow this week when the New Orleans Pelicans announced that rookie sensation Zion Williamson had undergone arthroscopic surgery on his knee, and will miss six to eight weeks.
It’s obviously a huge bummer for the Pelicans, but also to the league and its fans. Williamson is considered by many to be the best NBA prospect since LeBron James, and he is a walking, talking, smiling highlight reel.
The athletic phenom also missed the bulk of the Las Vegas Summer League, so fans were giddy to finally see him in action when the season started. He didn’t disappoint in the preseason, as he was borderline unstoppable. In four preseason games, Williamson averaged 23.3 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 1.5 steals per game, while shooting a staggering 71.4% from the field.
The NBA even scheduled the first game of the season to be the Pelicans vs. the defending champion Toronto Raptors, which is a bit less exciting with neither Williamson nor Kawhi Leonard.
Williamson’s injury also impacts the Warriors, who face the Pelicans four times this year. Golden State visits New Orleans in a week, on October 28, a game that the rookie will obviously miss. He’ll also be out for their second contest, when the Warriors again head to New Orleans on November 17.
The Pelicans visit Chase Center on December 20, which is right around Williamson’s expected return. If the rehab goes smoothly, the Warriors and their fans may get to see the budding star in action then. If not, they’ll have to wait until February 23.
Hopefully Williamson heals up successfully.