What a difference a year has made for Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans.
Last year at this time, Zion had been ruled out for the season, the team was struggling and the media was piling on.
People were questioning Zion’s love for the game, his work ethic and wondering aloud if there should even be a basketball team in New Orleans. There were endless fat jokes and online trolls taking their shots, which is why it is hilarious now that some of these same people are calling out Zion for being “classless” for breaking their precious unwritten rules when he finished a recent game with a crowd pleasing dunk.
Some of these same pundits were quick to jump aboard the Pelicans’ bandwagon when they started winning, but Pels’ fans kept some receipts.
New Orleans Pelicans: The narrative around Zion Williamson is changing
One of my favorite moments from last season was this gem with Jalen Rose, Mike Wilbon and Stephen A. Smith not only saying Zion would never sign with the Pelicans but speculating that the team might be moved to Seattle:
I realize these talking heads are paid for their hot takes, but these were just ridiculous, and frankly, not things we hear said about other teams. Here are some of the teams that are below the Pelicans in wins over the last ten seasons:
- Orlando Magic
- Sacramento Kings
- New York Knicks
- Detroit Pistons
- Minnesota Timberwolves
- Los Angeles Lakers
- Philadelphia 76ers
- Phoenix Suns
How about we move the New York Knicks to Seattle? (their fans would probably thank you). How about the Lakers? The 76ers? The pure class Phoenix Suns? Why is it only New Orleans whose fans and players loyalty is constantly in question?
And how is that prediction looking now? Zion did sign his rookie extension, the future of the team is the brightest in the NBA, the franchise isn’t struggling and the team is playing in front of a packed house of rabid fans who love their team.
I wonder if these guys want to admit just how wrong they got it here? Zion is playing like an MVP candidate and the Pelicans are in first place, right where they belong and will stay in New Orleans.
We’ve all had bad takes over the years, but I’d love to hear these pundits be as loud when they are wrong as when they think they are right.