Former NBA guard, now ESPN analyst JJ Redick only needed two seasons with the Pelicans to determine that Zion Williamson is a “detached teammate.”
After newly acquired Pelicans guard CJ McCollum told TNT over the All-Star break that he had yet to hear from Williamson, Redick said on ESPN’s First Take Tuesday that this has been the norm with Williamson since he entered the league.
“This is a pattern of behavior with Zion that we are seeing again and again. And look, I was his teammate. I can describe him as a detached teammate. That is an accurate statement,” Redick said, via Sam Amico of OutKick/Hoops Wire. “This is basic level of humanity, being a teammate. Send a text to a guy when he gets traded to your team. That is just normal behavior. That’s the bare minimum that you have to do.
“… This is something I addressed with Zion in front of the team. This is going back to his rookie year. There’s a responsibility that you have as an athlete when you play a team sport to be fully invested. You’re fully invested in your body, you’re fully invested in your work, and you’re fully invested in your teammates. That is your responsibility, and we have not seen that from Zion.”
Both Redick and Williamson shared the court together in New Orleans from 2019-21 and are clients of Creative Artists Agency (CAA). But while Redick has ridden off into retirement, Williamson has spent more time in the medical room than on the floor.
Williamson, 21, hasn’t suited up in an NBA game since May 4, 2021, recovering from offseason surgery for a fractured right foot. He’s suffered multiple setbacks, with ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reporting last Thursday that Williamson wouldn’t be back for the foreseeable future.
But as Redick said, the injury is no excuse for Williamson not to reach out to McCollum after the Pelicans acquired him from the Trail Blazers on Feb. 8.
“I get that he’s hurt and away from the team, but you just traded for one of the 50 best players in the league, a guy that’s supposed to be paired with you,” Redick said. “Reach out and say hello.”
New FanDuel Sportsbook users can make their first bet risk-free up to $1,000. If the bet loses, the FanDuel Sportsbook will refund you in site credit. New users can lock in this offer NOW by clicking this link.