Cheap Zion Williamson Jersey will head into his second NBA season with “no restrictions,” the New Orleans Pelicans star said Sunday.
Talking to reporters as the Pelicans opened their training camp, Williamson flashed the biggest smile of the day when asked about what limitations he might have this season. “Me and [Pelicans] coach [Stan] Van Gundy have talked and from what I know now, there are no restrictions. None,” Williamson said.
When asked about being happy about that, he added, “Of course. I love to play basketball. With no restrictions? Why wouldn’t I love that?”
Van Gundy told reporters earlier on Sunday that Williamson has “no limitations in practice. That’s a good thing.” He added that Williamson easily passed his conditioning test, which included a three-minute run on the court.
“He and Nickeil [Alexander-Walker] probably did theirs the easiest,” Van Gundy added. “I thought in practice he gave really, really good effort as did everybody. It’s all been positive so far.”
Williamson dealt with “burst restrictions” last season when he returned in January from a knee injury that sidelined him for the first half of the regular season. At the time, Williamson expressed some frustrations with his limited minutes but still managed to have a productive season, averaging 22.5 points and 6.3 rebounds in just 27.8 minutes per game.
In the NBA’s Florida bubble, Williamson missed time leading up to the first game because of a family issue and once again was on restricted minutes, playing an average of 20.7 minutes in five of the first six games before being shut down for the final two.
But now that he’s entering the season healthy, there are no plans for any restrictions moving forward — something that Williamson is more than excited about.
“I think it definitely will be different because, well, it was tough, man. When you’re going through rehab and when you’re finally able to step on the court, three minutes goes by, four minutes by and … you gotta get subbed out. It was a lot,” Williamson said.
“I tried to make the most of the situation and I think I did the best that I possibly could. But it’s going to be a lot different.”
The manner in which Anthony Davis forced his way to the Lakers did not sit right with lifetime Celtics fan Bill Simmons.
During the 2018-19 season, Anthony Davis made a public request to be traded from the New Orleans Pelicans. Ahead of the season, he’d signed with Klutch Sports. Rich Paul then went on to declare that Davis would not re-sign with any team other than the Lakers who tried to trade for him.
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Davis became the subject of the biggest trade rumors of the NBA till the Lakers officially traded for him ahead of draft night 2019. The Lakers became instant title favorites as soon as they acquired him.
Bill Simmons criticizes the circumstances of the Anthony Davis trade
Simmons was one of those who was clamoring for the Celtics to even trade Jayson Tatum if that’s what it took to land AD. But on The Ringer Podcast, he sang to a different tune:
“You get villainized if pull a Eli Manning or John Elway on draft day or demand a trade, but if you do that in NBA everyone will say ‘you do you or he only has so many years to make money’. What Anthony Davis did to New Orleans was genuinely lousy.”
“He signed 5-year extension, halfway thru, ‘yea can you trade me now, and only to the Lakers’. The internet was like ‘he is only using his leverage!’. That never sat right with me.”
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In the end, Simmons sticks out as a Celtics homer who is plainly disappointed at AD’s success with the Lakers.
Williamson hopes the start of a brand-new season unleashes an old version of himself as well.
“I want to show that I’m a basketball player. I’ll do whatever the team needs me to do on offense or defense no matter what it is to win. I’m just a competitor,” Williamson said.
“When I’m healthy and competing, I’m just a different kind of player. I think that’s the player everyone fell in love with.”
Last season was a trying one for Williamson for another reason as the Pelicans stumbled to a 30-42 record and missed the playoffs.
With the moves made this offseason, Williamson and Cheap Brandon Ingram Jersey, who recently signed a five-year max contract extension, are now the undoubted cornerstones of the franchise moving forward.
“If we want to be winners, we have to do things outside the norm or uncomfortable for us. That’s where being professional comes into play,” Williamson said.
“Losing is just not fun. It’s needed because it makes you better. What don’t break you will make you. That’s a part of ups and downs. But if we want to win, we have to remember what we’ve been through and stay steady onto the winner’s mindset.”
Part of being able to change that mindset will come with how Van Gundy approaches the game. Sunday’s practice consisted of 30 to 40 minutes of Van Gundy breaking down defensive concepts and then over two hours of getting after each other in defensive drills.
“He’s a very detailed guy,” Williamson said of Van Gundy. “We went through a lot. I felt like we got a lot done for one day, especially the first day. I’m excited to continue to work with him.”