Pelicans’ CJ McCollum Sends Strong Message To Zion Williamson

Zion Williamson, CJ McCollum, New Orleans Pelicans, NBA News
NBA Analysis Network

New Orleans Pelicans shooting guard CJ McCollum sent a strong message to NBA All-Star Zion Williamson during an appearance on “The Ryen Russillo Podcast.”

The former Portland Trail Blazers star said Williamson has got to figure out what he wants to do with the game of basketball.

“Your ceiling is unlike anything the NBA has ever seen,” McCollum said. “But it’s up to you to take full advantage of whatever that is. I can’t want it for you. Mom can’t want it to you. Dad can’t want it to you. Staff can’t want it to you. So it’s up to you to decide what that looks like.

“You’ve got to figure out what you want to do with this game because this game will go where you take it.”

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Zion Williamson, CJ McCollum & New Orleans Pelicans Updates

Williamson has only played in 114 NBA games since being the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft out of Duke. The lefty appeared in 24 games his rookie year and 61 games his sophomore year. The two-time All-Star missed his entire third year and appeared in just 29 games this season.

When he’s been on the court, Williamson has been a superstar. The North Carolina native has career averages of 25.8 points, 7.0 rebounds and 3.6 assists. Williamson signed a five-year, $194.3 million designated rookie contract extension with the Pelicans in July 2022.

“I’ve had serious conversations with him on multiple occasions,” McCollum. said. “Not just me. Larry [Nance Jr.]. I’ve told him, ‘You can be as good as you wanna be and that’s not for everybody.’ The level of the best version of [Zion Williamson] is a level that everybody can’t get to.”

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Zion Williamson, CJ McCollum & New Orleans Pelicans Updates

NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley recently gave some advice to Williamson. Barkley, one of the greatest players in NBA history, said on “The Steam Room” podcast that Williamson has to get in shape.

“Zion Williamson, yo man. I don’t know you. We’ve never met,” Barkley said. “But somebody gotta tell you like, ‘Yo man, you gotta get in shape.’ Cuz you gonna keep getting hurt if you’re out of shape. I don’t think the coach has enough power to tell you what to do. I don’t think David Griffin, who’s a friend of mine, has enough power to tell you what to do.”

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About Ashish Mathur 2104 Articles
Ashish is an NBA writer for NBA Analysis Network. He has been featured on many publications, including, ClutchPoints, Sportscasting and Celtics Wire. You can follow Ashish on Twitter @amathur25.