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Alvin Gentry To Discuss Potential Minutes Restrictions With Zion Williamson If Season Returns

May 2, 2020 3:16 PM

Alvin Gentry said that he will talk to Zion Williamson about potentially restricting his minutes should the league resume this season.

Gentry added that Williamson was off his minutes restriction when the season was suspended.

“We’ll have those conversations. Obviously, his health will be the number one priority, but the restriction was really off after his first 5-6 games. So, he was playing the minutes that he would normally play, considering with any situation really. But, it will be something that we talk about when we do resume and as far as how it looks for Zion from a minute standpoint, and we’ll do that really with some of the other players," said Gentry in a press conference.

Gentry rated Williamson's season as a "pleasant surprise," adding that he's never seen a player with a quicker second jump that the rookie.

"I still think that in all the years that I’ve been in the league, I’ve never seen anyone that has a second jump like this kid. It’s amazing how he can hit the ground and be back up before anyone is really reacting to the first move that he had. I would say that’s been a pleasant surprise in those areas right there. I think what we found out is that he’s an excellent passer, also. I think as he gets more comfortable handling a basketball, that’s going to be an area that everyone sees that he can be an elite guy from the position that he’s playing right there." 

NBA.com

Tags: Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Zion Williamson On Staying In Shape During Stoppage: 'Honestly, I'm Ready Now'

Apr 28, 2020 1:30 AM

Zion Williamson told TNT's Ernie Johnson that he is currently in shape to resume the season.

"Honestly, I'm ready now. I've been staying in shape, working on myself and just staying ready. You never know when the time is going to come when they're going to say, 'All right, let's resume.' I don't want to have to look around at my teammates and say, 'Sorry, guys, I'm not ready.' So I'm staying ready for my teammates," said Williamson.

Williamson said that he has a basketball hoop at his house, with Pelicans players participating in workouts over Zoom alongside team training staff.

Williamson added that he was just finding his rhythm in the NBA when the season was suspended.

"It sucks because I had just come back after sitting three, four months without playing basketball or playing in an NBA game. As soon as I felt like I was getting going, this happens. It sucks from that perspective. But I think it's a good thing because it gives me extra time to work on my knee and work on my body overall."

Andrew Lopez/ESPN

Tags: Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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LaMelo Ball, Lonzo Ball Sign With Roc Nation

Apr 27, 2020 1:34 PM

LaMelo, Lonzo and LiAngelo Ball will sign with Jay-Z's Sports Management company Roc Nation Sports.

"This was a family decision," LaMelo Ball's manager Jermaine Jackson told ESPN. "This is now an extended family. They put together a beautiful game plan with Jay-Z. The basketball game is about to change. They are going to create something totally new."

Raymond Brothers will be the primary agent overseeing the Ball Brothers.

"We talked to several agents, but the family had good vibes with Roc Nation," Jackson told ESPN. "I've known Jay-Z since I played for the Knicks, but this is what the kids wanted to do. Jay-Z is a master at what he does. He's global. It's power beyond power.

"This is something that they are building from the ground up together. They are brothers and they love each other and that's how they roll. It's all love. They don't separate from each other."

Jonathan Givony/ESPN

Tags: Lonzo Ball, LaMelo Ball, New Orleans Pelicans, NBA, NBA NBA Draft, NBA Draft General

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Bulls Hire JJ Polk As Assistant General Manager

Apr 10, 2020 3:14 PM

The Chicago Bulls are hiring JJ Polk as assistant general manager under Arturas Karnisovas.

Polk has worked for the New Orleans Pelicans since 2010 and most recently has served as executive director of basketball administration. 

The Bulls hired Karnisovas to run the Chicago front office earlier this week.

Shams Charania/The Athletic

Tags: Chicago Bulls, New Orleans Pelicans, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor

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David Griffin: Pelicans 'Just Scratching The Surface Of What We're Capable Of'

Apr 10, 2020 1:42 AM

David Griffin said he thought the New Orleans Pelicans had a successful year due to their off-court changes regardless of how the rest of the season turns out.

The Pelicans are currently 3.5 games out of the 8th seed.

“I would. Much less because of the on-court results, and more because of what we’ve been able to do off the court. It’s fairly clear we’ve got really, really good, high-character humans here. The culture has changed a great deal for the better. I think players love being a part of what we’re building," said Griffin on whether he deemed the current season a success.

Griffin added that the team was peaking, and would be a handful for opponents should the season restart.

“We have a team that is sort of on the precipice of being very good and is just scratching the surface of what we’re capable of. We’re optimistic – if we’re able to restart in any form or fashion – that we’re going to be a team that is one to be reckoned with. We’re a team that has shown a great deal of promise. I think there is a lot of optimism that surrounds our team on a lot of levels.”


Jim Eichenhofer/NBA.com

Tags: New Orleans Pelicans, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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David Griffin Highlights On-Court Chemistry Between Zion Williamson, Lonzo Ball, Nicolo Melli

Mar 22, 2020 4:44 PM

David Griffin praised the chemistry between Zion Williamson, Lonzo Ball, and Nicolo Melli as one of the keys to the New Orleans Pelicans offense.

“A big part of it is the chemistry you see with Lonzo and Zion. They have a special connection. I think Nicolo Melli getting more minutes, and him starting to become a key part of the rotation has been essential as well.

"Those three guys work incredibly well as a unit. Zion gives us another player who can create vertical thrust in the offense, and Lonzo can pick defenses apart with his passing," said Griffin.

Melli is shooting 39.1% from three since Williamson made his season debut.

“Melli, when there is that dive thrust (by Williamson) toward the rim, (Melli) is going to be pulling bigs away from the basket. He is absolutely essential when Zion’s on the floor, from a spacing standpoint. When you see the relationship between those three growing, it just exponentially improves our team.”

Griffin also gave an update on second-round pick Didi Louzada, who is currently playing in Australia's NBL.

"His development on a very veteran team that had the best record in their league the vast majority of the season, as a starter and defensive stopper, is exactly what we wanted. The future is very bright there as a potential three-and-D stopper who can guard multiple positions.”

New Orleans Pelicans

Tags: Zion Williamson, Nicolo Melli, Lonzo Ball, New Orleans Pelicans, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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David Griffin Says NBA 'Very Mindful Of The Idea Of Getting Back To Playing'

Mar 22, 2020 2:12 PM

New Orleans Pelicans general manager David Griffin said that the league is doing everything in its power to not have to cancel the rest of the NBA season.

“With everything changing so quickly, everything is in a state of flux that I think it would be premature for the NBA to say what it ultimately looks like. I do know unequivocally that the league is very mindful of the idea of getting back to playing. The idea of canceling a season is not all on their minds, and we’re modeling every possible thing we can for how we can deliver a product to the fans.

"Quite frankly, we’re all going to need a diversion in the future. (But) until we can get to a point where we think we’ve got containment of (the coronavirus), we’re going to continue to stay locked down. Hopefully we’ll get to a point where we can come back sooner rather than later," said Griffin in an interview.

Adam Silver announced a 30-day minimum league suspension through at least April 9th.

Others have reported that the NBA will do everything in its power to not cancel the playoffs, even if it takes the season into July or August.

New Orleans Pelicans

Tags: New Orleans Pelicans, NBA, NBA Suspension, NBA Injury

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Pelicans Expected To Match Any Offer Sheet For Brandon Ingram

Mar 21, 2020 5:04 PM

The New Orleans Pelicans are expected to match any offer sheet for restricted free agent Brandon Ingram, according to Chris Fedor of cleveland.com.

With the likes of Buddy Hield, Domantas Sabonis, Jaylen Brown, and Dillon Brooks signing extensions, Fedor adds that Ingram is the "one restricted free agent with appeal."

Ingram is averaging 24.3 points and 6.3 rebounds on the season.

Chris Fedor/cleveland.com

Tags: Brandon Ingram, New Orleans Pelicans, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor

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Pelicans Haven't Had Any COVID-19 Testing

Mar 20, 2020 11:13 AM

The New Orleans Pelicans have yet to conduct any COVID-19 testing.

The Pelicans haven't had any members of their traveling party shown symptoms and the franchise wants to do their part in keeping tests available for those in the general public who truly need them.

The Pelicans were set to play at the Sacramento Kings on March 11th before the NBA suspended the season following the positive COVID-19 test by Rudy Gobert.

Andrew Lopez/ESPN

Tags: New Orleans Pelicans, NBA

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Zion Williamson Pledges To Pay Salaries Of All Smoothie King Center Workers For Next 30 Days

Mar 13, 2020 5:56 PM

Zion Williamson has pledged to pay the salaries of all Smoothie King Center workers for the next 30 days as the NBA suspends play.

Williamson is in his rookie season with the New Orleans Pelicans.

 
 
 
View this post on Instagram

The people of New Orleans have been incredibly welcoming and supportive since I was Drafted by the Pels last June, and some of the most special people I have met are those who work at smoothie King Center. These are the folks who make our games possible, creating the perfect environment for our fans and everyone involved in the organization. Unfortunately, many of them are still recovering from long term challenges created by Katrina, and now face the economic impact of the postponement of games because of the virus. My mother has always set an example for me about being respectful for others and being grateful for what we have, and so today I am pledging to cover the salaries for all of those Smoothie King Center workers for the next 30 days. This is a small way for me to express my support and appreciation for these wonderful people who have been so great to me and my teammates and hopefully we can all join together to relieve some of the stress and hardship caused by this national health crisis. This is an incredibly resilient city full of some of the most resilient people, but sometimes providing a little extra assistance can make things a little easier for the community.

A post shared by Zion Williamson (@zionwilliamson) onMar 13, 2020 at 2:24pm PDT

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Tags: Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans, NBA

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