Stan Van Gundy is now the new head coach of the New Orleans Pelicans and his primary attraction for the job has to be building a team around young star Zion Williamson.
Former Blue Devil Williamson had a bizarre rookie year, dealing with a knee injury, the pandemic and then leaving the bubble for a family medical emergency that seemed to derail him emotionally.
When he could get on the court consistently though he reminded us of what an unusual talent he is even if he was never fully 100 percent (although a highlight reel, he wasn’t the player we saw at Duke).
A bit of time off will help him immensely and we expect when practice starts, Williamson will be more than ready to go.
So will Van Gundy, who now gets a chance to mold a future legend. And very wisely he say this: “I think you have a vision for what he [Zion] is, which is a multi-talented guy. He is an unbelievable playmaker for a guy at his size. He’s a guy who can take the ball off the glass and lead the break and make plays. He can make passes off the dribble. He can finish over bigger people inside. He’s a multi-talented guy. I don’t look at him in any way as far as is he a four or a five. I’m not sure those labels matter when it comes to him....
“It’s not limiting him to a position. I think we’ll get to a starting point of that at the start of the season and my guess is as time goes on, I’m going to find out that he can do even more than I think he can do and things will evolve from there.”
That’s very smart. As Coach K observed, despite his physique, Williamson in many ways has a guard’s game.
He also has insane hops and strength though so in an ideal world, you let him do whatever he can do, figure out what the team needs, and go from there.