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“You don’t keep a Ferrari in a garage for an entire year and then go put it in a race” - Richard Jefferson believes the Pelicans did the right thing in keeping Zion Williamson off the court in the playoffs

Zion Williamson #1 of the New Orleans Pelicans looks on during the game against the Phoenix Suns at Smoothie King Center on April 28, 2022 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Zion Williamson #1 of the New Orleans Pelicans looks on during the game against the Phoenix Suns at Smoothie King Center on April 28, 2022 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
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Christopher Eluemuno

The New Orleans Pelicans made it to the 2022 NBA playoffs via the play-in tournament without their star Zion Williamson. They were matched against the Phoenix Suns and crashed out after forcing the Suns into Game 6 of the best-of-seven series.

Williamson was physically cleared by the medical team to engage in basketball activities in early March. However, coach Willie Green decided to leave him out of the playoffs. While the decision didn't quite sit well with fans, pundits have argued it was best for the team.

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Richard Jefferson reacted to the first pick in the 2019 NBA draft, saying he was physically cleared to play, but the team decided to keep him out. He stated that the coach was right to keep him out of the team. Jefferson also illustrated that bringing him to play against the Suns would have been like keeping a sport car in the garage for a year before putting it straight into a race. He said:

"I think they did exactly what they were supposed to do, you want to hold him out," Jefferson said. "You don't keep a Ferrari in the garage for an entire year and then go put it in a racks. And that's what it was going against the Phoenix Suns, going against that, you don't want to put a player in that position because obviously he's not tuned up."
"We've seen injuries to Booker. We've seen injuries to Khris Middleton and these are guys that were tuned up ready to go during the season and then just things happen."

Zion Williamson has shared his interest in signing the 5 years extension deal

Zion Williamson #1 of the New Orleans Pelicans talks with team personale on the bench during the second half of Game One of the Western Conference First Round NBA Playoffs against the Phoenix Suns at Footprint Center on April 17, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Suns defeated the Pelicans 110-109.
Zion Williamson #1 of the New Orleans Pelicans talks with team personale on the bench during the second half of Game One of the Western Conference First Round NBA Playoffs against the Phoenix Suns at Footprint Center on April 17, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Suns defeated the Pelicans 110-109.

Zion Williamson, who has featured in 85 games for the New Orleans Pelicans in 3 seasons with the franchise, has revealed his interest in signing an extension deal.

Zion Williamson says he intends to extend his stay in New Orleans if offered a new contract trib.al/egRAfDB

As per policy, the forward is due to be offered a 5-year extension deal by the Pelicans. The deal will see him remain with the franchise until the 2027-28 season and possibly get a bump of $36 million if he makes the All-NBA team in the coming season.

Zanos has stated his eagerness to sign the extension deal if offered, as he was heard saying, 'I can't sign it fast enough', in an interview. With the caliber of players on the Pelicans' roster, the franchise will be one to watch out for in the coming season.


Edited by Arnav Kholkar
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