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Pelicans’ Zion Williamson ‘Actually Centered’ in Offseason Coaching, NBA Insider Says

Adam WellsSeptember 2, 2023AP Photo/Rick BowmerComing off two injury-plagued seasons, Zion Williamson is putting in work to get his body ready for the 2023-24 campaign.Per The Athletic’s Will Guillory, the New Orleans Pelicans star has “been really focused on making sure his body is prepared for a long season” as part of his offseason training

Pelicans’ Zion Williamson ‘Actually Centered’ in Offseason Coaching, NBA Insider Says

Adam WellsSeptember 2, 2023

New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson (1) brings the ball up court during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz Thursday, Dec. 15, 2022, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

AP Photograph/Rick Bowmer

Coming off two injury-plagued seasons, Zion Williamson is placing in work to get his physique prepared for the 2023-24 marketing campaign.

Per The Athletic’s Will Guillory, the New Orleans Pelicans star has “been actually centered on ensuring his physique is ready for a protracted season” as a part of his offseason coaching program.

Will Guillory @WillGuillory

Been listening to good issues in regards to the work Zion’s placing on this summer time.

Was informed he is been actually centered on ensuring his physique is ready for a protracted season. Assume he is gonna are available with a chip on his shoulder.

That is shaping as much as be an important season for Williamson as he appears to ascertain himself as a dependable star within the NBA. He has solely appeared in 114 video games in his first 4 seasons resulting from accidents.

Over the previous two seasons, Williamson has solely appeared in 29 video games. He missed all of 2021-22 resulting from a Jones fracture in his foot that required offseason surgical procedure.

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Going again to the 2021-22 marketing campaign when Williamson was recovering from foot surgical procedure, Pelicans government vice chairman of basketball operations said “our hope and our view” was Williamson can be again for the beginning of the common season.

There has additionally been some obvious discord between Williamson and the Pelicans at instances. Writing for B/R in October 2021, Jake Fischer famous there was a “robust perception in league circles” the Pelicans “had been unaware” of his Jones fracture process till he confirmed as much as coaching camp.

Fischer additionally wrote Williamson’s weight was a priority as a result of he was “north of 300 kilos” throughout the offseason.

Beginning final season at full energy, Williamson seemed like he was prepared to affix the elite tier of gamers. The 23-year-old began 29 of the Pelicans’ first 37 video games and was voted to be a starter within the All-Star Recreation.

However Williamson suffered a hamstring damage throughout a Jan. 2 sport in opposition to the Philadelphia 76ers. It did not seem to be a big drawback on the time, however the workforce announced on Feb. 12 he suffered a setback in his restoration that left his potential return up within the air.

Williamson wound up lacking the remainder of the season. One other subject that has harm him is the reporting round his accidents.

The workforce initially expected Williamson to overlook three weeks when his hamstring damage first occurred. When the preliminary timeline handed with out an replace, it led to questions on his standing earlier than it was revealed he suffered a setback.

The Pelicans made an enormous dedication to Williamson in July 2021 by signing him to a five-year rookie max extension that may be value as much as $231 million. He is been dominant within the video games that he is performed, averaging 25.8 factors on 60.5 % taking pictures, 7.0 rebounds and three.8 assists in 114 begins.

It is an encouraging signal for the Pelicans that Williamson is doing what he can to have his physique in peak bodily situation coming into this season, however he is at a degree the place everybody must see him make it by means of a full season and not using a vital damage earlier than believing he might be relied on.

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A wholesome Williamson does change the equation for New Orleans within the Western Convention. This workforce completed 42-40 final season, its first profitable document since 2017-18, and has a gifted core group to construct round with Brandon Ingram, CJ McCollum, Trey Murphy III and Herb Jones.

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