“Don’t Overreact … Your Favorite Player Doesn’t Take Pride In Playing 82 Games Anymore” | Jalen Rose Has Thoughts On Zion’s Windmill Dunk On IG

(YouTube Screenshot/GetUp)

A video of New Orleans Pelicans All-Star forward Zion Williamson doing a windmill dunk was posted via his official Instagram account on Monday. Williamson hasn’t played all season as he has been recovering from a fracture in his foot. Fans, pundits, and the internet sleuths went crazy trying to decipher what it meant for the season. ESPN’s Jalen Rose doesn’t think people should overreact. But what should we do with this video?

“Don’t overreact, everyone,” said Rose this week on “Get Up.” “Your favorite player doesn’t take pride in playing 82 games anymore. There’s something called load management. If I’m Zion and I haven’t played all year, he has to create a level of confidence for himself. A level of enthusiasm for the team, and show progress with his injury.”

The Pelicans have made it clear that Williamson will not be playing basketball this season. He has been cleared for one-on-one work and was seen doing a little work on Tuesday. The team is clearly taking the long view with their franchise talent.

“We still have to be careful with how much he does. Just because he’s still going through the healing process,” said Pelicans coach Willie Green. “But we’re happy that he’s getting better … I know it feels good for him to finally be able to get on the floor and doing some of the things he’s doing.”

Back to Rose’s comments. He brought up the 82-game season and used a familiar line that former players use when discussing the current state of the league and it’s players. This is a tired refrain and needs to end.

An 82-game season is too long. An 82-game season, the third in two calendar years, is borderline cruel.

Would you rather see an NBA star push to play 75-80 games and then be at his least fresh during the highest stakes games? Or would you rather see a 58-game regular season stretched out over the same length of time and the best players fresher and healthier come playoffs?

In Zion’s case, he suffered a Jones fracture last summer, the team did not reveal the injury until the start of training camp and since then it has been a long and slow recovery with weird moments.

That injury is notoriously slow to heal because of the lack of blood flow to that area of the foot. Then Zion chose to rehab in Portland instead of with the team in New Orleans. It was weird.

But he’s back in New Orleans now and he looks good in the limited video we have seen. To Rose’s point Zion, needs to start ramping himself back up and gaining confidence in his body and movements. The windmill dunk shows the explosiveness is there.

Now we will wait and see. Zion is extension-eligible at the end of this season and the Pelicans will undoubtedly offer him a rookie maximum extension. Whether or not Zion accepts the deal is a whole other story. The talk about him wanting to be in NYC has been going on since before he was drafted, so if for some reason he doesn’t accept the offer right away it will get noisy in New Orleans.

Until then at least Zion is back on the court and participating in basketball activities again.