New Orleans Pelicans: Eric Bledsoe should be benched

(Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
(Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images) /

The New Orleans Pelicans’ season has not gone to plan even though they are getting big contributions from young stars Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram.

It’s possible that fans’ expectations were too high entering the season, but when the Pels added veterans Steven Adams and Eric Bledsoe to a team that narrowly missed the playoffs last season, many saw this as a sign the Pels were ready to make a leap as a team.

They’ve mostly just been leaping up and down, as they have virtually the same record that they did at this point last season.

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Stan Van Gundy has to take some of the blame for his team’s lack of progress on the defensive end, which is one of the things he was hired to improve.

But a lot of this has to go on the players, who continue to make mistakes that savvy high school players wouldn’t make, costing themselves close game after close game with a total lack of execution.

This was on full display against the Knicks, as the Pelicans pulled their magic and once again lost a game in a way that would seem impossible if we hadn’t already seen it several times this season.

Both Eric Bledsoe and Lonzo Ball were a big part of the play that has been getting so much attention. Both guys blew assignments, which happens, but it was Bledsoe’s comments after the game that should earn him a one-way trip to the bench.

New Orleans Pelicans: Eric Bledsoe deserves to be benched for his comments

Here is the comment that has Bledsoe in hot water with fans of the Pelicans:

Bledsoe claims that he blew his defensive assignment on the most important play of the game because he “wasn’t paying attention.”

As someone who has taught high school, this sounds a lot like an excuse I’d hear from a 15-year-old kid who was staring at his phone during the instructions for a test.

Even if this was true, why say it? What are you telling your teammates here, that you can’t even be bothered to listen to your coach in the huddle? That you don’t care?

Let me ask another question, what if this were Kira Lewis Jr. or Jaxson Hayes? Hayes was benched earlier in the season for missing defensive assignments but he is a 20-year-old, not an All-Defensive Player who is supposed to be a team leader.

I have to imagine that if Jaxson Hayes had offered up such a lame excuse for his failings that he might have never gotten off SVG’s bench again.

SVG has to hold his veterans to the same standard, as there is no way he would tolerate this type of comment from a young player.

Eric Bledsoe needs to be held accountable, not only for his bonehead play but for his comments, which were insulting to his teammates and show a total lack of respect for what they had just done in a very physical and competitive game against the Knicks.

It’s time that someone on the New Orleans Pelicans is held accountable for this mess.

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