Dan Patrick Is Right: Play Zion Williamson or Send Him Home

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We mentioned last week that the Pelicans’ handling of Zion Williamson on a minutes restriction and not playing him in crunch time of the NBA’s restart against the Jazz was an indication that making the playoffs is not the franchise’s biggest priority. This morning, after the Pelicans got blown out by the Clippers, Dan Patrick had a segment about how playing him in these games is basically just a waste of time:

“If you want to have him with the team that’s great but if you’re not gonna play him then just send him home,” Patrick said. “He just doesn’t look like he is in shape. He is explosive but he doesn’t look comfortable out there … Either play him or don’t have him there.”

The NBA basically engineered their whole regular season return so that the Pelicans would have a shot at making the playoffs, but Williamson’s body clearly isn’t up to it. Between missing games to start the season due to knee surgery and then having to leave the bubble for a family emergency, he doesn’t look like he is in game shape.

While there could be an argument to be made that it’s beneficial for him to get NBA reps, even if it’s just for 15 minutes a game, the risk doesn’t seem to be worth the reward here.

Written by Ryan Glasspiegel

Ryan Glasspiegel grew up in Connecticut, graduated from University of Wisconsin-Madison, and lives in Chicago. Before OutKick, he wrote for Sports Illustrated and The Big Lead. He enjoys expensive bourbon and cheap beer.


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  1. I think Zion’s weight could become a career shortening issue if he doesn’t stay on top of his conditioning. He can’t blow up. He looks close to 3 bills, and the more weight he carries the higher the injury risk on that knee. He ought to make it a focus to drop weight to get down in the 265 range imo. I think his longevity and ability to endure 82 games depends on that. His career isn’t starting with much optimism that he can simply stay on the court, or, when he’s on the court, even play real minutes. That’s a major concern.

  2. Man, I can’t watch an NBA game. The BLM stuff has absolutely killed it for me. Haven’t seen one MLB pitch. Will not watch NFL. And the less I watch the less I miss it. It’s actually starting to feel good. These leagues and players can go f–k themselves. I saw highlights of a NASCAR race this weekend. I can’t believe how many fans showed up. It would be nice to see empty stands.

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