Certain members of Pelicans star power forward Zion Williamson would prefer that he plays elsewhere, with some outside of the organization viewing it as a “heap of dysfunction,” per Shams Charania, Joe Vardon and William Guillory of The Athletic.
Williamson is about to play for his third coach in his three NBA seasons after the Pelicans parted ways with Stan Van Gundy on Wednesday. Van Gundy held the job for just eight months.
That said, The Athletic cited those close to Williamson as indicating he is still committed to New Orleans and the idea of being part of a winner there. Williamson was the No. 1 overall pick in 2019, ad Pelicans control his contract situation for at least another three years, as the report noted.
Still, members of Williamson’s family “voiced displeasure” with Van Gundy, and Williamson was “irritated” when the Pelicans traded veteran shooting guard J.J. Redick to the Mavericks in March, per the report.
The report went on to say that a late-season meeting between Van Gundy and Pelicans head of basketball operations David Griffin didn’t go well, as the Pelicans sort of slogged their way to a 31-41 finish, missing the play-in tournament.
“It’s OK. This is our first year together,” Ingram said of the relationship with Van Gundy back in May, via Clark. “He has a different coaching style that I’m used to seeing from most. But I was able to learn a lot of things from him this year and learn what he’s all about.”