Duke basketball: CJ McCollum calls out Zion Williamson for injury history

Duke basketball forward Zion Williamson (Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball forward Zion Williamson (Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports) /

Former Duke basketball superstar Zion Williamson was called out by his teammate. 

It has not been the NBA career many had envisioned for Duke basketball great Zion Williamson has he continues to deal with various injuries that linger deep into the season.

Most recently, Williamson did not take the floor for the New Orleans Pelicans this season after January 2 due to a hamstring strain as the injury forced him to miss the postseason for the second consecutive season.

The Pelicans advanced out of the Play-In Round last year but fell to the Oklahoma City Thunder at home this season.

However, Williamson told reporters before the game that he was feeling fine physically he just didn’t have faith in his hamstring to hold up throughout he course of a game and he would be back on the floor when he felt like “Zion” again.

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The former Blue Devil was going through a series of workouts prior to tipoff which included him throwing down some of his signature dunks that fans have come to adore, but it drew some criticism that he could dunk in pregame but not play.

CJ McCollum, Zion Williamson’s teammate on New Orleans, also didn’t seem to like seeing the former No. 1 overall pick on the sidelines again for an extended period of time.

“Availability is important, man. We’ve got to be available,” McCollum said following the Pelicans loss last week.

“We’ve got to do what we need to do off the court in terms of preparation, in terms of getting treatment, in terms of getting the right sleep, the right type of hydration, having the right type of diet.”

Duke basketball sensation needs to be on the court

The comments from CJ McCollum appear to be a direct shot at Zion Williamson, who has reportedly struggled with his weight and diet ever since being drafted into the association.

Williamson has played in just 114 games during his four seasons in the NBA and was limited to just 29 games this winter despite averaging 26.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, 4.6 assists, and 1.1 steals per game on 60.8-percent shooting from the field.

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David Griffin, the executive vice president of basketball operations for the New Orleans Pelicans, said that Zion was not cleared for 5-on-5 or full-court 3-on-3 work before the team’s Play-In Game.

The situation between Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans will certainly be something to monitor as the official beginning to the offseason draws closer.

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