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Pelicans Coaching Move Could Pave Way For Zion Williamson Exit

Pelicans Coaching Move Could Pave Way For Zion Williamson Exit

Pelicans Coaching Move Could Pave Way For Zion Williamson Exit – originally posted on Sportslens.com

The New Orleans Pelicans made a change to their coaching staff on Thursday afternoon, parting ways with assistant Teresa Weatherspoon after the assistant’s nearly 4 years with the franchise. The decision could directly affect the future of Zion Williamson.

Pelicans Part Ways With Coach Close To Zion Williamson

Originally brought on as a two-way player development coach in 2019, Weatherspoon was quickly promoted to assistant coach after just one year. She brought a basketball expertise from her time as a player and lifetime around the game, but it was her relationship with the players, namely star forward Zion Williamson, that she was most known for around the team.

Williamson has had a rough start to his NBA career. The highly-touted prospect out of Duke University was the #1 overall pick back in 2019, and was brought in to be the Pelicans’ next star after the departure of Anthony Davis. And while Williamson has performed well when he’s been on the court, remaining healthy enough to do so has been a major issue.

He has played in just 114 of a possible 318 games to begin his career, having missed an entire season once and large portions of others. He has struggled with his weight, an issue that many point to as one of the causes of his problems.

Trade Market Will Heat Up Ahead Of The Draft

The pressures from the fans and media can take a toll on a young player who held such high expectations, and they have been a burden to Zion Williamson so far. But Weatherspoon has been an immense help to the mental aspect of his career and comeback, and Williamson said as much, getting emotional when recalling a meeting between the two.

“(I told her) No I’m not, I am not okay. And her response wasn’t words. She cried for me…I remember trying to take that moment in like, ‘I have someone special in my corner, she really does care about me’. And the feeling is mutual. That’s my big sister…We have a special bond.”

Weatherspoon apparently had offers from other teams during her tenure with the Pelicans, but she turned them down to continue working with Williamson and New Orleans.

Now that Weatherspoon is gone, what does that mean for the young star’s future? Williamson has been the subject of trade rumors recently, which are heating up now that we are less than a week away from the 2023 NBA Draft. The departure of the assistant coach could be another sign that the team is looking to make a move sooner rather than later.


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