Zion Williamson is said to be healthy enough to play and help his team make the playoffs, yet he won’t feature when the New Orleans Pelicans face the Oklahoma City Thunder in their Play-In game on Wednesday night.
Skip Bayless has made claims of Pelicans’ doctors clearing Williamson to play. However, he is being kept out by his own medical consultants, who reckon he’s not yet at 100 percent.
“From what I’ve heard, the Pelicans team doctors have cleared Zion Williamson to play in these playoff games. But Zion’s independent team of medical people says he’s only 99%, and they don’t want to completely clear him until he’s 100% ready to go,” Bayless said during Undisputed on Wednesday. “So, team management is increasingly at odds with Zion’s stepfather. And they just believe that the stepfather, with the advice of the medical people on their side, is holding Zion back from playing.”
Bayless also noted that the player’s stepfather is unhappy with the Pelicans as they keep threatening to waive him, while Zion’s Pelicans teammates are frustrated with the current status quo.
“The Pelicans players are not happy with Zion in particular because they’re fearing he’s getting the wrong advice, as a young player, that is messing with his mind,” the analyst continued.
“They think he should just suck it up and stand up to both his stepfather and his medical people and just say, ‘no, I feel great, I’m going to go ahead and play.'”
According to Bayless, multiple Pelicans players are playing through injury right now – which is usually the case at this point in an NBA season – yet Zion is choosing to keep himself out for such a crucial game.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out if New Orleans sneaks into the playoffs. They would want to have their best players on the floor but Zion might not be ready to play even then.
Various sources claim the player isn’t near a return while others note he won’t make himself available unless he feels like himself again.
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