Now or never: Three demands Zion Williamson must make before debut

Duke basketball legend Zion Williamson (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Duke basketball legend Zion Williamson (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /
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Zion Williamson
Duke basketball legend Zion Williamson, now with the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

Failure to insist upon these three simple wishes prior to his upcoming first NBA game would be a disservice to Zion Williamson, the New Orleans Pelicans, and the Duke basketball program.

Just past the halfway point to the regular season, without the services of 2019 No. 1 draft pick Zion Williamson, the New Orleans Pelicans have sustained playoff hopes by winning roughly 40 percent of their games.

Williamson’s fellow Duke basketball alums in New Orleans have all chipped in. In fact, despite each of the four having missed at least a handful of games, Brandon Ingram, J.J. Redick, Jahlil Okafor, and Frank Jackson have combined for roughly 40 percent of the team’s points for the season.

Now for what should be the fun part, especially for fans of the Pelicans and Blue Devils: the return from October knee surgery of Williamson, who averaged 23.3 points and 6.5 rebounds while shooting 71.4 percent from the field in only 27.3 minutes per game across four preseason appearances (mirroring his averages of 22.6 points and 8.9 boards while shooting 68.0 percent in 30.0 minutes per game during his lone college season in Durham last year).

The official debut is set, assuming all goes as planned, for 9:30 p.m. Wednesday at home against the below-.500 San Antonio Spurs. In light of the news, in order to broadcast the one show the hoops world has been most impatiently awaiting, ESPN bumped from its lineup a matchup between teams in the top five of the Western Conference standings (Denver Nuggets at Houston Rockets).

Unfortunately, though, if Williamson does not speak up on his own behalf beforehand with the following three demands, this first show — and all the rest to come — might not be all that much fun to watch after all…