The New Orleans Pelicans no longer have to ponder a question that has become difficult to answer. When will highly hyped NBA rookie Zion Williamson make his debut in a regular-season game?
After missing the first 44 games while healing a surgically repaired lateral meniscus tear in his right knee, Williamson will play when the Pelicans host the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday at Smoothie King Center.
The Pelicans expect a sell-out capacity crowd (17,744) and scores of media outlets eager for answers to a broader and potentially difficult question: Will Williamson live up to all the hype or will his size — and the way he throws his weight around — doom him to an injury-prone career?
While this is the first time he’s undergone knee surgery, he also sprained his right knee during his freshman season at Duke and bruised his left knee in the Pelicans’ summer-league opener, leading many to question whether he would be a bust in a physical league with an 82-game season.
After seeing how Williamson healed his right knee for the past three months with the Pelicans’ training staff, executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin believes he has the answer.