How Will Zion Williamson Exiting Disney World Bubble Affect Playoff Picture?

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New Orleans star rookie Zion Williamson reportedly has left the Orlando Bubble to attend to a family emergency. 

The Pelicans release a tweet this morning announcing his exit:

The Pelicans show a clear understanding that family comes before basketball (understandably so), but how might this affect the Pelicans’ playoff push?

Williamson was planning on kicking off the return to basketball July 30 against the Utah Jazz, but this sudden change of circumstances might throw that return into question.

Safety protocol is explained by ESPN’s Tim Bontemps: Anyone who leaves the campus with approval from the NBA will quarantine for four days upon returning under either of the following conditions:

  • They are gone fewer than seven days and test negative for COV-19 each day they are gone
  • They have an extended absence, undergo daily testing and test negative for at least the seven days before they return.

The Pelicans likely won’t allow the phenom to break protocol, but considering the NBA season starts in exactly two weeks, his family emergency would need to be handled, fast. Considering the Pelicans are 3.5 games behind the eight-seed Memphis Grizzlies, the New Orleans will need all hands on deck to give Adam Silver’s wet dream of a Lakers-Pelicans first round any chance.

The basketball world will be pulling for Zion’s family to get healthy and resolve this matter in as quickly as possible so we don’t have to sleepwalk through a Lakers first round massacre of the Grizzlies.

Written by Gary Sheffield, Jr

Gary Sheffield Jr is the son of should-be MLB Hall of Famer, Gary Sheffield. He covers basketball and baseball for, chats with the Purple and Gold faithful on LakersNation, and shitposts on Twitter. You can follow him at GarySheffieldJr


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  1. My grandfather went to Duke. As a Marylander, I was suppose to hate Duke, but I didn’t. I always respected how the school set a standard for academics and basketball.

    I am curious … How much control does Nike have over its athletes and where is the line of that control?

    Zion May or may not have a family matter. We are not allowed to question that, but the truth is that Zion listened to Nike more than his coach in College. And may do so now too.

    Why would a future $billionare even bother playing in this Orlando bubble? He can’t win this year.

    And … maybe … just maybe he needS Nike approval going forward to play or not play. Think of the NBA like pre-tiger woods golf. He changed pro golf. Tiger changed the winnings in golf. For everyone.

    Before tiger, most golfers made more from endorsements. It is still that way for the top golfers.

    Zion and Le-King James May be the first sponsored athletes to tell the league when and where they will show up. Doesn’t sound like real sports competition to me.

    Hope Zion’s family is ok 👌

  2. “….My grandfather went to Duke. As a Marylander, I was suppose to hate Duke, but I didn’t. I always respected how the school set a standard for academics and basketball….”

    I mean no disrespect but I’ll need to see a birth certificate. Go Terps

  3. MY grandfather went to Duke!!!
    Oh wait…no, he didn’t…he was a farmer in Ireland…never left the Emerald Isle.
    (Who loves ya baby lol)

  4. Zion being gone from the bubble will certainly affect my viewing habits on the NBA. I was looking forward to 2 things: Zion and the drama off the court in the bubble. I hope his situation works out quickly in his favor.

  5. I’m hoping everything is ok with his family emergency. As far as the NBA goes, I won’t miss any part of it. It no longer comes on my TV. It has an idiot running it and most players I could care less about watching.

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