While the NBA regular season tip is still six weeks away, it didn’t stop a quartet from the new Pelicans core from hearing a New Orleans sports crowd go wild.
On Monday night, as the New Orleans Saints hosted the Houston Texans to kick off their 2019 seasons, a small flock of Pels found themselves on the sidelines watching the Monday Night Football thriller. All four coated in Saints gear, core rookies Zion Williamson, Jaxson Hayes, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, and third-year guard Lonzo Ball looked on as the Saints eked out a 30-28 victory.
Appropriately, the anointed “savoir” of New Orleans basketball, Zion Williamson, kept a Drew Brees jersey tucked into his trousers; whether it was a fashion statement or simply a heat diversion method, it was nice to see the city’s young phenom representing their Super Bowl champion.
Not to mention, the rookie was doing a great job finding even more ways to get fans excited for the Pelicans upcoming campaign. The much-discussed prospect shared his “let’s dance” slogan live from inside the confines of the Mercedes-Benz Super Dome.
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) September 9, 2019
Meanwhile, center Jaxson Hayes found himself wearing the jersey of a different All-Pro; Cam Jordan’s # 94 jersey. Hopefully, for Alvin Gentry’s squad, the 6’11” rim runner will have as dominant of an impact on the defensive end of the basketball court as the 6’4″ quarterback-crushing defensive-end does on the football field.
While Lonzo Ball didn’t have the time to track down a black and gold jersey, he did have a chance to score a Saints baseball cap, which is good enough to make sure fans feel the love from their new ball handler. Much like many young players model their football game after Brees, Pelicans’ faithful should hope Ball picked up a few tricks about leading an offense from the all-time great quarterback.
— New Orleans Pelicans (@PelicansNBA) September 10, 2019
Alexander-Walker appeared in another star’s jersey, stand-out receiver Michael Thomas, a sharp-looking #13 shirt.
Between the Saints nabbing an opening night victory and the young Pels core cheering away on the sideline, then all the way down to Wil Lutz’s 58-yard game-winner, it was a great night for the Big Easy. The cities two athletic clubs showed great unity and the Pelicans did a great job showing out for their local NFL club.
Now, we’ll have to see if Brees and a few of his teammates will make their way to the Smoothie King Center for the Pelicans home opener against the Dallas Mavericks on Oct. 25. Ideally, for the fans, Brees would return the favor and throw on a Zion jersey. Maybe Jordan will think the same way and throw on a #10 jersey for Hayes.
While the Smoothie King Center’s capacity maxes out at 17,791 and will never have the volume of the 74,295 capacity of the Super Dome, it’s great for this young core to understand how great loud home crowd can be for a team’s success.