Zion Williamson was a player the USA Basketball’s Select Team has been eyeballing for a few months now, but on Monday news broke that he has withdrawn from the team’s training sessions.
Shams Charania of The Athletic shared the news after speaking with Team USA director Jerry Colangelo, noting Williamson and the Pelicans are focused on getting the first overall pick integrated into their system this summer.
It’s hard not to wonder if Zion’s recent injury scare in the summer league didn’t play into this decision as well.
Pelicans general manager David Griffin recently highlighted the need for Williamson to prepare his body for the rigors of the long, grueling NBA season. He also rightly pointed out that Williamson was nowhere close to being in the kind of condition necessary to accomplish that.
Given all that New Orleans has done to transform the roster and rebuild it around Williamson, it’s not surprising that he is cutting out any potential distractions to focus on what he needs to accomplish for his new team.