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“Everything that I said on that clip that went viral in regards to Zion I had said to his face” - JJ Redick on calling Zion Williamson a “standoffish” teammate

Zion Williamson and JJ Redick as teammates for the New Orleans Pelicans
Zion Williamson and JJ Redick as teammates for the New Orleans Pelicans
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Karan Vinod

Zion Williamson has come under criticism from former teammate JJ Redick because of his decorum and actions towards his current teammates.

On Thursday, Redick backed the statements he made a couple of months ago when he said the New Orleans Pelicans forward was standoffish as a teammate. Appearing on "The Pat McAfee Show," Redick said:

"Yeah, I said that. Everything that I said on that clip that went viral in regards to Zion I had said to his face. Like, we had conversations about that. I addressed in front of the team in my first year there. So, yeah, there were moments where I would describe him as a standoffish teammate, not a bad teammate."

Redick was talking about how Williamson did not initially reach out to CJ McCollum after the Pelicans landed him in a trade with the Portland Trail Blazers in February. Redick said:

"I had an issue with that because I think there is a basic decorum as a teammate. You reach out to new teammates. That's part of being an NBA player, and so that's what I sort of took issue with."
"Everything that I said on that viral clip in regards to Zion I had said to his face.. we had conversations about things like that when I was on the team" ~@jj_redick#PMSLive https://t.co/XkTZyn3mjj

What does the future hold for the Pelicans and Zion Williamson?

Zion watching his team from the sidelines
Zion watching his team from the sidelines

The New Orleans Pelicans endured a tumultuous season. They started 3-16 under first-year coach Willie Green in the month after announcing Williamson had offseason foot surgery. But the franchise always asserted its intention to make the playoffs, even without Williamson.

The acquisition of CJ McCollum from the Portland Trail Blazers at the trade deadline in mid-February accentuated that point. After standing 36-46 at the end of January, New Orleans went 18-14 for the rest of the season. The Pels then won two play-in games before taking the Phoenix Suns, who had the NBA's best record, to six games in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs.

Williamson, the No. 1 pick in the 2019 draft, missed the entire season. He had already missed almost all of his rookie season (24 games) with a knee injury.

Once Williamson is healthy again, he can combine with Brandon Ingram and McCollum to potentially lead the Pelicans deep into the postseason. Williamson was an All-Star, averaging 27.0 points per game, in the one healthy season of his three (last season).

Zion Williamson is a human wrecking ball. Pelicans gonna be scary next season. https://t.co/kBjR2n6gig

In those three, New Orleans will have players who can get a bucket at will. Williamson will always attract double teams as his game is predicated on his ability inside the arc. When the defense collapses on him, he can dish it out to the open man in McCollum or Ingram.

However, the current need of the hour for both Williamson and the Pelicans is for him to get healthy and stay healthy. The future of the franchise is essentially predicated on Williamson's health.


Edited by Joseph Schiefelbein
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