“I don't think he's in the playing shape or the mental shape to play.”
Zion Williamson's NBA Summer League debut lasted all of nine minutes - and according to his former coach Mike Krzyzewski, that was nine minutes too many.
In Coach K's opinion, Zion simply had too much going on and he just wasn't in the right state, mentally or physically.
“I thought really he never should've played just because he's been on this circuit of awards, the ESPYs, everything,” Krzyzewski said, via Forbes’ Adam Zagoria. “I don't think he's in the playing shape or the mental shape to play.”
Williamson posted 11 points with three rebounds in his nine minutes of action against the New York Knicks in the Pelicans' Summer League opener before he suffered a knee-to-knee hit. The Pelicans ultimately opted to pull him from the remainder of their Summer League schedule, but the team doesn't expect any lingering effects.
New Orleans' Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations, David Griffin, released the following statement in regards to their approach with Zion.
"Zion will move forward from this incident without issue. However, in an abundance of caution, we have made the determination that he will not appear in game action for the remainder of the NBA Summer League. He will continue to take part in training and conditioning with our performance team."