The New Orleans Pelicans are set to kick off the season on national television next Tuesday with a game against the Toronto Raptors, but the new-look Pelicans will be without No. 1 overall pick Zion Williamson for the start of the season. Williamson, whose NBA debut is one of the most anticipated in recent memory, is suffering from a knee injury that could keep him out for several weeks, according to reports.
What’s wrong with Zion’s knee?
On Thursday, the Pelicans announced that Williamson would miss the team’s final preseason game with “right knee soreness.”
According to the Pelicans, Williamson is not traveling with the team to the game, and will remain in New Orleans for testing.
Williamson missed time during the Summer League as well after suffering a knee bruise in his debut, but that injury was to his left knee.
How serious is the injury?
On Friday, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Williamson’s injury is more serious than a day-to-day issue, but is fortunately not expected to be severe. The Pelicans believe the injury occurred in their game against the Spurs on October 11th. Williamson scored a game-high 22 points in the Pelicans’ win.
The Pelicans have every reason to be cautious with Williamson, so it’s possible he could miss an extended period of the season as he recovers.
Perhaps one of the most famous quotes attributed to Michael Jordan is his one about activism: “Republicans buy sneakers too.”
Whether or not he actually said that, Jordan made a concerted effort during his playing days to not rock the boat and give his political views. He carefully manicured his image to be as presentable to everyone as possible, especially as his brand took off.
“When I was playing, my vision and my tunnel vision was my craft,” Jordan said. “I was a professional basketball player and I tried to do that the best I could. Now I have more time to understand things around me, understand causes, understand issues and problems and commit my voice, my financial support, too.”
Notably, Jordan did not comment on the budding global crisis, in part because he said he has pending litigation since 2012 on the improper use of his name in China. But the Charlotte Hornets owner did note the opportunity players have to let their opinions have an impact.
“I think it’s great,” Jordan said. “If they understand the causes, obviously if they feel their voice matters, great. You know and I support that.”
Jordan has been more outspoken with time
Whatever shortcomings Jordan may have had as far as speaking his mind during his playing days, he’s making up for them now. No instance is clearer than his thoughts about police violence against African-Americans.
After a string of public officer-involved shootings in the summer of 2016, Jordan penned an op-ed in The Undefeated in which he felt like he could no longer keep his thoughts to himself, cautious thoughts be damned.
“As a proud American, a father who lost his own dad in a senseless act of violence, and a black man, I have been deeply troubled by the deaths of African-Americans at the hands of law enforcement and angered by the cowardly and hateful targeting and killing of police officers,” Jordan wrote. “I grieve with the families who have lost loved ones, as I know their pain all too well. … I know this country is better than that, and I can no longer stay silent.”
While he didn’t have an elegant solution, he is the latest former athlete to stand with players who are being profited off. Given that he is also in a position of authority in management, his words carry even more weight.
“I think they should be paid some portion of money so that their basic needs are taken care of. There’s some complexity there that I think the NCAA is going to have to figure out. Are they entitled to some compensation? Yes. What is that number? I don’t think anyone knows.”
Jordan played three years at North Carolina before going pro and launching his historic career.