Zion Williamson anticipates a sleepless night ahead of his highly-anticipated NBA debut Wednesday.
The rehab from knee surgery in October has been “very difficult,” admits the 19-year-old picked first overall by New Orleans in last summer’s NBA Draft.
Zion gave Pelicans fans a taste of his incredibly tantalizing potential, putting up 27.3 points on 71.4% shooting across four preseason games.
Per The Times-Picayune:
“Y’all (might) have saw me meditating on the sidelines,” Williamson joked. “It’s been very difficult. But it’s finally here. I finally get to go back out there.”
The Pelicans took a holistic approach to recovery. The process has been difficult. Pelicans vice president of basketball operations David Griffin admitted that, at times, Williamson grew frustrated when the team required him to continue rehabbing after he felt ready to return to the court.
“I did learn a lot about my body during this time period,” Williamson said. “It came a lot from watching film. Learning when to use my energy. Making smarter reads and not exhausting my energy.”
New Orleans is ready, and Williamson is, too. Williamson’s NBA dreams got put on hold for the past three months, but after a long and difficult recovery process, he is ready to play the game he loves again.
“Honestly, I don’t know if I’m going to get sleep,” Williamson said. “I’m gonna be too excited about my first NBA game.”