What a Game Last Night
Zion Williamson willed the Pelicans to victory by erupting for SEVENTEEN straight points in the fourth quarter! Zion’s debut started slow, but then, almost as if he were Thanos himself, he snapped. The Spurs were powerless to stop him and eventually fell before the rookie’s feet.-From an Alternate Timeline
That’s the story every basketball fan around the world should be waking up to read. Instead, we feel robbed. History was hijacked from the sport, fans, and Zion himself. Sure, Zion is the first-ever rookie to go 4/4 from beyond the arc in their debut. Zion did still outscore the Spurs by himself for just over three minutes. “The Blender” was still rocking. Yes, Zion outdid his preseason numbers, which is mindboggling!
WE WERE STILL FUCKING ROBBED!
We were fed LIES! I don’t think any NBA player has ever been pulled from a game while scoring his team’s last SEVENTEEN POINTS! I sincerely don’t believe it has ever happened! Yet, here we are. Zion went to the bench with 5:23 remaining in the game. Just moments after the Pels had their first lead since the first quarter, the man who brought them there was told to sit. WHAT THE FUCK!? There wasn’t supposed to be a minute restriction on Zion! Why is he being benched when he’s the hottest basketball player on the planet at that moment!?
That’s Andrew Lopez. One of the most respected people in the industry on Pelicans’ news and updates. This isn’t Andrew’s fault. He’s been around the team for years. I highly doubt this man would put something like this out there without having heard it from someone within the organization. Every fan in the SKC had this update in their mind! No minutes restriction! Zion just went supernova! They had no reason not to leave him in, right?
Immediately, the arena revolted against Head Coach Alvin Gentry. The most natural conclusion with the information known… was that Gentry pulled him. The fans in the arena were livid. If you looked at social media, people around the globe were baffled and angry. Gentry was the primary target on Twitter.
Ah, there we have it! The medical staff shut him down. That means there was clearly a pre-determined minute restriction with no real wiggle room. If there had been wiggle room, Zion would have stayed on the court for the last few minutes. It’s that simple. Alvin Gentry is the wrong person to blame here. The blame lies solely on the organization for allowing the storyline of no restrictions to go viral. Even if they didn’t blatantly put that message in the media, they didn’t come out with a statement to shut it down when it made the headlines on every major sports site on the internet.
The popular thing to do from many Pels fans was to shame fellow Pels fans on Twitter for booing at the end of the game and expressing their rage. Yes, we all know the best thing to do when coming back from an injury is to come back slowly and not overdo it. Even casual fans are not idiots and can understand that concept. Most fans of any sport are casual fans. Casual fans rely on the media to set their expectations and inform them of the details they need to know. The problem is that casual fans were deliberately given misinformation in the days leading up to Zion’s debut.
This is my ninth season as a season ticket holder for the Pelicans. In those nine years, I’ve never seen or felt anything close to the atmosphere that we experienced last night during Zion’s seventeen point run. It was wild and euphoric! The raw emotion brought on from Zion’s outburst, coupled with the comeback to take the lead, was a double whammy! All that energy, all that euphoria, and all those emotions were stripped away from every person in that arena by a minute restriction that wasn’t supposed to exist. It all could have been avoided by the organization clearly stating that Zion would have a set minutes cap going into the game. And, if you cant understand the fan reaction during those moments, then you have a long way to go in terms of understanding the sports world and what makes it so amazing.