NBA’s Zion Williamson obsession draws critics as Pelicans get Christmas Day game

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NBA's Zion Williamson obsession draws critics as Pelicans get Christmas Day game

NBA's Zion Williamson obsession draws critics as Pelicans get Christmas Day game

NBA's Zion Williamson obsession draws critics as Pelicans get Christmas Day game

Zion Williamson enters his second NBA season as a cornerstone of one of the league’s most promising rosters.

During his injury-riddled 2019-20 debut, he averaged 22.5 points and 6.3 rebounds in fewer than 28 minutes of action per contest. Now healthy, he is seemingly primed for a monster campaign. The Pelicans, armed with a recently extended Brandon Ingram, could fly with him.

Still, some people were unhappy Tuesday ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported New Orleans would play against the Heat on Christmas Day. They wondered why the NBA is so keen on booking a team that has yet to prove anything to national TV. They questioned the star treatment of Williamson, who has been seen as a golden child since going pro. They pouted on social media as fans excited to see what the Pelicans are building celebrated.

MORE: NBA 2020 Christmas schedule

Many athletes who receive intense media hype early in their careers are shunned by contrarian types wanting the love to go elsewhere. Williamson has been a national phenomenon since he was throwing down dunks in high school, so fatigue around his game is to be expected. Him playing just 24 games as a rookie perhaps strengthened the argument he’s not yet deserving of so much attention.

But the Pelicans are more than Williamson. With Ingram, Eric Bledsoe and Lonzo Ball, they have the skill to be better than a marketable doormat. A playoff appearance would not be surprising even after the recent departure of guard Jrue Holiday.

Don’t tell that to these people, though:

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