For many fans, Zion Williamson is considered the future face of the NBA. The dynamic forward from Duke has only been in the NBA for 2 seasons and has shown flashes of brilliance that come from his game.
Zion was the consensus number 1 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft class. Williamson was one of the most hyped prospects to enter the league in a long time, with many fans comparing the hype behind Zion to that of LeBron James.
So all eyes were on the 2019 NBA Draft lottery to see which team was going to get Zion. The Pelicans won the 1st overall pick in the draft and used it to draft Zion. On top of that, the Pelicans also traded then-franchise star Anthony Davis to bring in a haul from the Lakers that included Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball.
Ingram became an All-Star his first season with New Orleans and effectively carried the team as Zion struggled with injuries. Zion's first season with the Pelicans was a struggle, not just on the court but off the court.
Williamson's issues with David Griffin, then-GM of the Pelicans are still a sore subject, as he recently took a shot at him for trying to play the piano for him during the 2020 Orlando Bubble.
His second season with New Orleans was a lot better, as he became an All-Star for the first time in his career. But the Pelicans missing the playoffs once again had to have been a cause for frustration, and fans began to speculate whether Zion would want to leave the Pelicans.
But Zion has come out and put an end to those rumors for the time being. During the New Orleans Pelicans' media day, Zion told reporters that he loves the franchise, the city of New Orleans, and he has no plans to leave the franchise any time soon.
"I love it here. I love the city of New Orleans. I don't wanna be anywhere else."
Zion will be entering his 3rd season in the NBA this year. Historically, this is the season where most players take the biggest leap in their careers.
Players like Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and Paul George earned their first All-Star nominations in their 3rd season, so Zion is ahead of them at the moment in terms of career trajectory. But his goal will be to help not only himself, but the New Orleans Pelicans also take the next step this upcoming season.