NBA

Coronavirus: Pelicans star Zion Williamson leaves NBA bubble for 'urgent family matter'

By Sports Desk July 16, 2020

Zion Williamson has left the NBA bubble at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida to attend to an urgent family matter, the New Orleans Pelicans announced on Thursday.

The Pelicans said in a statement that star rookie Williamson, the Pelicans' second-leading scorer at 23.6 points per game, plans to rejoin the team for the restart of the NBA season at a later date but did not offer any specifics. 

'We fully support Zion's decision to leave the NBA campus to be with his family," the Pelicans' vice president of basketball operations David Griffin said. 

"Out of respect for the Williamson family, we will have no further comment at this time."

Whether Williamson will miss any games remains to be determined. Per NBA protocols, he will be required to quarantine between two to four days once he returns to Orlando provided he is tested daily for coronavirus during his time away. Failure to undergo daily testing would require a quarantine period of at least seven days. 

New Orleans are scheduled to return to play July 30 against the Utah Jazz.

The number one overall pick of the 2019 draft missed New Orleans' first 44 games while recovering from arthroscopic surgery on his right knee, but has made a significant impact upon returning from the injury. 

The Pelicans were 17-27 and in 12th place in the Western Conference when Williamson made his delayed debut on January 22 and the team has gone 10-9 with the former Duke standout in the line-up.

New Orleans enter the restart in 10th place in the West, three and a half games behind eighth-place Memphis.

Related items

  • Lakers fall to Thunder, Embiid leads 76ers Lakers fall to Thunder, Embiid leads 76ers

    The Los Angeles Lakers were well beaten in the NBA on Wednesday, while Joel Embiid led the Philadelphia 76ers to a win.

    With the top seed in the Western Conference secured, the Lakers went down to the Oklahoma City Thunder 105-86.

    LeBron James (19 points) and Anthony Davis (nine) went a combined 10-of-30 from the field as the Lakers shot at just 35.2 per cent.

    Chris Paul top-scored in the Thunder's victory with 21 points.

    Embiid's double-double of 30 points and 11 rebounds saw the 76ers past the Washington Wizards 107-98.

    Philadelphia suffered a setback during their win, with Ben Simmons hurting his knee in the third quarter.

     

    Even Celtics shine as Gobert lifts Jazz

    The Boston Celtics had seven players in double-digits for points in a 149-115 thrashing of the Brooklyn Nets. Jaylen Brown (21), Jayson Tatum (19), Gordon Hayward (18) and Robert Williams III (18) led the way.

    Rudy Gobert had a double-double of 21 points and 16 rebounds in the Utah Jazz's 124-115 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies.

    Fred VanVleet went eight-of-13 from the field for 21 points, to go with 10 assists, in the Toronto Raptors' 109-99 win against the Orlando Magic.

     

    Davis struggles

    Davis has been in good form for the Lakers, but the forward was three-of-11 from the field in their loss.

     

    Diallo dunk

    Hamidou Diallo delivered a huge dunk in the Thunder's win.

    Wednesday's results

    Utah Jazz 124-115 Memphis Grizzlies
    Philadelphia 76ers 107-98 Washington Wizards
    Denver Nuggets 132-126 San Antonio Spurs
    Oklahoma City Thunder 105-86 Los Angeles Lakers
    Toronto Raptors 109-99 Orlando Magic
    Boston Celtics 149-115 Brooklyn Nets

     

    Lakers face Rockets

    The Lakers (51-16) will try to bounce back on Thursday in a blockbuster clash with the Houston Rockets (42-25).

  • Brown unsure about severity of Simmons' knee injury Brown unsure about severity of Simmons' knee injury

    Brett Brown was unsure about the severity of Ben Simmons' knee injury in the Philadelphia 76ers' win over the Washington Wizards.

    Simmons left Wednesday's 107-98 victory in the third quarter after hurting his knee.

    The two-time All-Star had eight points, six rebounds and four assists before the injury.

    Philadelphia head coach Brown was waiting to hear more about how serious Simmons' injury was.

    "We don't know. I'm sure the club will make some announcement," he said.

    "But as far as knowing more than that, I don't. Obviously I'm very curious."

    The 76ers are sixth in the Eastern Conference with a 41-27 record.

  • Lou Williams addresses strip club visit: I could have made 'better-quality' decision Lou Williams addresses strip club visit: I could have made 'better-quality' decision

    Los Angeles Clippers guard Lou Williams conceded he could have made "a better-quality decision" after being forced to miss NBA games because he visited a strip club in Atlanta.

    Williams, the reigning Sixth Man of the Year, had been allowed to leave the NBA's 'bubble' in Orlando last month to return to Georgia to attend the wake of a friend's father.

    Under NBA rules, Williams was then due to observe a four-day quarantine period upon his return to Florida, yet that was extended to 10 days - a period encompassing the Clippers' first two games - after it emerged he also took a trip to the gentlemen's club, Magic City, in Atlanta.

    The 33-year-old is a frequent visitor to Magic City - a place also renowned for its chicken wings - describing it as his "favourite restaurant" in Atlanta, though he admitted his latest visit was an ill-judged one.

    "In hindsight, I think as far as the public safety issue goes, I probably could have made a better-quality decision," he told reporters after the Clippers' 117-115 loss to the Phoenix Suns.

    "I was a little naive in that aspect. I went somewhere after a viewing of somebody I considered a mentor, somebody I looked up to, first black man I seen with legal money in my life.

    "It's been documented how much I talk about [Magic City], how much I eat there.

    "I just did something that was routine for me. I frequent that place at that time of day, 5:30, 6 in the afternoon.

    "At the time, I thought I was making a responsible decision. After looking back on it, with everything going on in the world, the pandemic, maybe it wasn't the best-quality decision. I chalk it up as that, take my L and keep moving."

    Williams, who had seven points, six assists and six rebounds against the Suns, was one of three Clippers players granted a leave of absence by the NBA for personal reasons.

    Patrick Beverley did not miss any games after observing a four-day quarantine period but Montrezl Harrell is yet to return as he mourns his grandmother's death.

    "It's extremely difficult, man," Williams added.

    "I truly was grieving two weeks ago. I was really going through something. I was thrown under the bus, you know what I'm saying?

    "All the attention turned to Magic City because it's a gentlemen's club. I feel like if I was at a steakhouse or Hooters or whatever, it wouldn't be half the story."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.