NEW ORLEANS — Everywhere you turn in New Orleans, someone is asking when rookie Zion Williamson will make his NBA debut. Things are becoming a bit clearer because the No. 1 overall pick in last year’s draft went through his first full practice since he had surgery on the meniscus in his right knee on Oct. 21.
New Orleans Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry was in Wal-Mart when a lady on a motorized scooter stopped him to ask about Williamson’s return. Williamson himself said little kids are coming up asking him about getting back on the floor because they see him on the court in their video games.
“I’m like, ‘I’m not ready man, I’m not ready,'” Williamson said. “They’ll look at me and beg me to come back, and it sucks to look at them and go, ‘Not yet, lil’ man.'”
Going through a full practice is a milestone Williamson has been itching to hit.
“If it was up to me, I would’ve been out there two weeks ago or something,” Williamson said “It was just good to get back out there.”
Gentry said that while Williamson did everything the team did on Thursday it was still a light practice by their standards. The Pelicans are set to travel to the West Coast on Thursday afternoon for a Friday game against the Los Angeles Lakers and a Saturday contest against the Sacramento Kings.
When asked if Williamson could play on the upcoming road trip, Gentry said, “No. That won’t happen. I’m pretty sure of that one.”
Gentry also added that the team does not have a date in mind for when Williamson will play in a game, but they are monitoring his progress in practice to see when the best time for that will be.
“I know that’s typical but we really do have to take it a day at a time to see what kind of progress he makes,” Gentry said. “See what happens after he goes through practices and things like that. Like we said and will continue to say, he’ll play when the time is right for him to do that. When that is, I’m not real sure of. But I know he’s making progress, that’s the thing that matters most.”
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