Viral Video Implies Pelicans PF Zion Williamson Is Quitting the NBA
A recent viral video suggested Pelicans power forward Zion Williamson is quitting the NBA. Is this true? Did Zion quit? Here's what we know.
Let's take a trip down memory lane to the 2019 NBA draft!
With the first overall pick, the Pelicans selected Zion Williamson, a freshman from Duke at the time. The decision came as no surprise, as the five-star recruit dominated the 2018-19 college hoops season.
Four years later, many argue that Zion is one of the biggest NBA draft busts of all time. He's spent most of his NBA career injured, averaging only 28.5 games per season. As a result, the Pelicans can't rely on him at all.
It's also unknown if Zion still wants to play professionally, as a recent video implied the two-time All-Star is quitting the NBA. Wait, what? Keep reading for all the known details.
So, did Zion Williamson quit the NBA?
On May 6, 2023, a YouTube account known as The Sportest (@thesportest8442) shared a video titled "'My Last...' — Zion Williamson Calls it Quits After This!" The title immediately sent fans into a frenzy, but luckily for them, the rumor about Zion's departure from the NBA has since been debunked.
Plus, the description box never mentioned anything about Zion quitting the NBA — it only noted trade rumors.
Zion's career has been overshadowed by countless injuries.
After officially signing with the Pelicans, the superstar power forward tore his meniscus on Oct. 13, 2019. The recovery period wasn't too long, and Zion made his professional debut three months later, on Jan. 22, 2020. He suffered a few minor setbacks the rest of his rookie season, including an ankle injury.
He sat out for a handful of games in his sophomore season with a thumb sprain, toe irritation, and a fractured left ring finger. As for the 2021-22 season, Zion missed the entire season due to a Jones fracture in his right foot.
He underwent surgery during the offseason and was hopeful to return by the start of the season, but the timeline was extended until the team announced in mid-March 2022 that he would not play that season.
Zion made his long-awaited return on Oct. 4, 2022, in the Pelicans' 129-125 preseason win over the Chicago Bulls. He made his regular season return a few weeks later. However, his season was cut short because, on Jan. 2, 2023, he was sidelined with a hamstring injury.
The team was hopeful he would return by the end of January, but on Feb. 13, representatives revealed that Zion would miss multiple weeks after the All-Star break. In early April, the team confirmed Zion would miss the remainder of the 2022-23 season due to the hamstring injury.
After being ruled out for the Pelicans' play-in tournament game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Zion spoke with reporters and said he wasn't too thrilled about having to sit on the sideline.
"The s--t sucks. I don't know how else to say it. ... I love this game," he said, via The Athletic’s Will Guillory. "For those people who think I want to sit on the sideline just to sit over there, I don't know why people think that. Nah, it sucks. I just want to be playing basketball."