• Zion Williamson fires back at the rumors that circulated around him this past season
  • Williamson thanks the Pelicans organization for offering guidance throughout
  • His deal could go as high as $231 million

The New Orleans Pelicans have signed young superstar Zion Williamson to the maximum rookie extension in a press conference in front of the media, with the player having some words to those who have doubted his commitment to the franchise.

A clip of the press conference was posted on the discussion website Reddit, where Williamson took time to address the rumors that surrounded him at the time.

“The last few months were a rollercoaster of emotions. I felt it the most from my family because from the beginning of the season, I told the world ‘if you ever want to know if I want to be here, just ask me.’ But instead of asking me, the world just ran with narratives and my family was going out in public and they’re getting harassed by people and why we don’t like New Orleans or why I don’t want to be here when. That’s not the case at all,” Williamson said to open up his statement.

He lamented the fact that he had to miss the entire season due to a broken foot and the heights that the team has reached without him playing on the floor.

“Every time I check my phone, there’s always something negative. Even when you try to make positives out of the situation, it was tough… My family, the Pels (Pelicans organization), Ms. Benson (Pelicans owner), they were always there,” Williamson later added.

Williamson would go on to mention how Pelicans general manager David Griffin and head coach Willie Green would call him into his office to clear things out amid the rumors that hounded him for much of the season.

Murmurs started flying around when the 2021-22 season began that Williamson wanted out of New Orleans and to join a big market team like the New York Knicks for various reasons which included him getting more media attention.

To Williamson’s credit, he has been refuting those rumors since the start of the season when given the opportunity to do so.

The problem then was that majority were leaning towards believing the rumors since Williamson was not able to play due to his foot issues.

With him being given the platform to speak his mind where everybody in attendance would acknowledge his comments, Williamson effectively shut down all rumors of his apparent disdain for the New Orleans franchise.

The Pelicans gave the Phoenix Suns a run for their money in the playoffs before bowing out, and there is no telling how far they could go with a healthy Williamson on board.

It was also reported that Williamson’s five-year deal could go as high as $231 million if the player hits milestones set by the organization.

Should Williamson and most of the stars in the Western Conference remain healthy, NBA fans may be treated to the return of the bloodbath that it was back in the 2000s.

Zion Williamson
New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson shooting a free throw during an NBA game. Getty Images/Joe Murphy