Jeff Van Gundy gives New Orleans Pelicans fans hope

Jeff Van Gundy, ABC/ESPN. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Jeff Van Gundy, ABC/ESPN. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

It must seem rich to readers of this website that we are going to turn around and preach positivity after literally eulogizing the New Orleans Pelicans earlier today.

But it’s just like the famous philosopher Antonio Gramsci once said: pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will. 

Yes, the Pelicans did just get eliminated yesterday. And yes, things are grim right now after such a heartbreaking loss and all the stuff going on with our superstar forward, Zion Williamson. The intellect in all of us knows this.

However, the human will is a powerful thing, and we need to summon that power to find the optimistic aspect of this situation. And fortunately for us, ABC/ESPN Broadcaster and former NBA Head Coach Jeff Van Gundy made a point during yesterday’s broadcast that may have given us the jolt of optimism we Pelicans’ followers desperately need.

Early in yesterday’s play-in loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder, Van Gundy had this to say about the situation involving Williamson’s lengthy injury history.

"“There is hope for Zion Williamson. Joel Embiid, in his first four years, played 94 games. Zion Williamson has played 114,” Van Gundy said on the ESPN broadcast during the Pelicans play-in game against the Thunder. “And now, Embiid is up in the 60 range [in games played per year]. So hopefully, that’s what happens to Williamson.”"

It’s hard to remember that time now that Embiid has been in the mix for the MVP award the last handful of seasons, but once upon a time, his story wasn’t too different from Williamson’s current situation.

Embiid missed the entirety of his first two seasons with a foot injury. Then, he only played 31 games in 2017-18 before finally playing 63 games in 2018-19. The Philadelphia 76ers (coincidentally, the team Williamson suffered his latest injury against) stayed the course, despite the trip’s rocky beginning, and now they are being rewarded handsomely for their patience. The Pelicans would do well to follow suit.

If Van Gundy (a guy who, at times, can be pretty pessimistic about things himself) still has hope in Williamson’s health, then so should you.

dark. Next. 10 Players the Pelicans gave up on way too soon