JJ Redick: Zion Williamson Has Been ‘A Detached Teammate’

Pelicans star power forward Zion Williamson is viewed as one of the nicest people in the NBA, though his recent foot surgery makes you wonder a lot about his present and a little about his future.JJ Redick Zion Williamson

Former teammate J.J. Redick, now an ESPN analyst, said Williamson was also “detached” as a teammate. Williamson has been getting treatment on his foot in Portland, far from New Orleans and the Pelicans.

However, Redick was mostly referring to recent comments by new Pelicans guard CJ McCollum, who told TNT over the All-Star break that he had yet to hear from Williamson.

“This is a little bit insane to me. There’s a general decorum of behavior that you should apply as a teammate,” Redick said on ESPN’s First Take. “Look, I wasn’t the best player on any team I was on, but if there was a buyout possibility, if there was a trade possibility, I would always reach out to teammates. I called Ersan Ilyasova, I called Marco [Belinelli], I called Wes Matthews trying to get him to come to Philly. This just shows a complete lack of investment in your team, in the organization, in the city.”

Redick added that Williamson being injured or away from the team is no excuse not to be engaged with the Pelicans’ season and moves.

“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.”

Along with being a former teammate, Redick is a fellow CAA client with Williamson. So it makes his words especially strong.

“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. “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.”

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