After being selected by the New Orleans Pelicans as the No. 1 draft pick in June of 2019, Zion Williamson hasn’t played a single game in the NBA yet.
The 19-year-old tore his meniscus before the season began and had to undergo surgery, leaving many with an eagerness to see him get on the court and possibly duplicate the success he had at Duke University.
It’s possible that people will get their wish soon, because Williamson reportedly had his first full practice with the Pelicans on Thursday. Plus, according to the Stadium sports news outlet, the team is hopeful that he’ll play sometime in January.
The 6-foot-6 forward talked in a recent interview about wanting to return and said he hates disappointing his younger fans.
“The little kids, they play video games. They’re like, ‘When are you playing? ‘Cause you’re playing on the video game. Why aren’t you playing now?'” he said. “And I’m like, ‘I’m not ready, man.’ They’ll just look at me and beg me to come back. It sucks to look at them and go, ‘Not yet, little man.'”
The Pelicans currently have a record of 11-23, and they’re in 14th place in the Western Conference. They sit between the Sacramento Kings, who are 12-22, and the Golden State Warriors, who are 9-26.
The Lakers are in first place in the Western Conference with a record of 27-7 at the moment. And the Pelicans faced them on Friday, Jan. 3, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
But Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry said Williamson won’t be playing in that game.