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Zion Out “Indefinitely”

With a hand injury

Golden State Warriors v New Orleans Pelicans
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - MAY 04: Zion Williamson #1 of the New Orleans Pelicans dribbles the ball downn court during the fourth quarter of an NBA game against the Golden State Warriors at Smoothie King Center on May 04, 2021 in New Orleans, Louisiana. 
Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images

Well here’s some news to blunt the fun of the weekend: former Blue Devil and rising NBA star Zion Williamson is out indefinitely with a fractured finger - and the Pelicans say they know who to blame: the officials, for allowing “open season” on Williamson in the paint.

New Orleans exec David Griffin said this:

“Quite frankly, he’s injured because of the open season that there’s been on Zion Williamson in the paint. He has been absolutely mauled in the paint on a regular basis to the point where other players have said to him, ‘I’m going to keep doing this to you’ because they don’t call it. There is more violence encouraged in the paint than any player I’ve seen since Shaq. It was egregious and horrific then. The same is true now.”

Coach Stan Van Gundy concurs: “[Williamson] certainly takes a lot of hits. We’ve been on the referees hard, I know I have been every game. … The guy gets hit all the time.”

It sounds funny, but the Pelicans could use a good old fashioned enforcer, someone like Maurice Lucas, who was willing to fight guys who beat up his Portland teammate Bill Walton - or alone else, really. Lucas laid down the law every night.

Williamson could certainly do it himself, but a) you don’t want to get your star thrown out and b) you don’t really want to see him fight people simply because of his power. He could seriously injure another player, possibly to the point of death. If you don’t think so, look up Rudy Tomjanovich/Kermit Washington and keep in mind that Williamson is much, much stronger.

Realistically, he’s probably through for the season. We hope that by next season, the Pelicans will have some tough guy to send a message about how to treat his teammate(s) in the paint.