Shaq Shows Zion Williamson No Mercy, Pelicans Star Cops To Bad Performance

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New Orleans Pelicans v Chicago Bulls
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - DECEMBER 02: Zion Williamson #1 of the New Orleans Pelicans reacts against the Chicago Bulls during the second half at the United Center on December 02, 2023 in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Williamson went 13/3/2 in the Pels' 44-point loss.

Shaq and Charles Barkley had no time for Zion Williamson's poor showing against the Lakers in the semifinals of the In-Season Tournament. “Does not run hard — it’s not a diss, this is gonna be a lesson from one great big man to another guy that can be a great. Does not run hard. I had the same problem my first, second year — I thought I was running hard. Charles talks about this all the time, my talent’s gonna get me 20. When I start going to 20, 30, and 40, it’s because I started doing certain things," Shaq said.

However, the Hall of Fame big man wasn't finished “He doesn’t create easy points for himself. I saw a couple times when he had a couple times at the basket, he don’t seal, right? He doesn’t demand the ball … and he doesn’t have that look. Like, I’m not the greatest athlete ever, but I know a look when I see it. In every sport, I know a look. Tiger Woods had that look, Jack Nicklas had that look. He just doesn’t have that look. And he doesn’t rebound. He does not rebound," he continued.

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Zion Williamson Acknowledges Poor Showing

Furthermore, Williamson - who went 13/2/3 in the 44-point blowout loss - was the first to admit that he didn't play his best game. "I got to be better. I got to be more aggressive, finding my shot. And I got to do more things to get my team going. I think I was too laid-back tonight, and I just can't do that. And defensively I got to be better," Williamson said.

On the other side of the ball, LeBron James had one of his biggest games of the year. LeBron looked ageless as he put up 30/5/8 to power the Lakers into the title game against Indiana. However, that's now two games in a row that Williamson has struggled to break double digits. In the Pels' quarterfinal win over Sacramento, Williamson was held to just 10 points. "I have a problem where I literally just try to hunt the best shot possible every time, but my teammates, they expect more from me. I expect more from myself. But I got to just trust my game. I just got to be more aggressive. I think if I'm more aggressive that energy will definitely carry over," Williamson added.

Read More: Charles Barkley Roasts The Warriors While Interviewing Their Former GM


About The Author
Benjamin Mock (they/them) is a sports and culture writer working out of Philadelphia. Previously writing for the likes of Fixture, Dexerto, Fragster, and Jaxon, Ben has dedicated themselves to engaging and accessible articles about sports, esports, and internet culture. With a love for the weirder stories, you never quite know what to expect from their work.