Zion Williamson left the NBA bladder at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida to deal with an urgent family issue, the pelicans announced Thursday.
The pelicans said in a statement that star rookie Williamson, who is the pelican’s second-best scorer with 23.6 points per game, plans to rejoin the team at a later date for the restart of the NBA season, but without details specify.
“We fully support Zion’s decision to leave the NBA campus to be with his family,” said David Griffin, Pelicans’ vice president of basketball operations. “Out of respect for the Williamson family, we will make no further comments at this time.”
It remains to be seen whether Williamson will miss any games. According to the NBA protocols, he will have to be quarantined for two to four days after returning to Orlando if he is tested for coronavirus daily during his absence. If no daily tests are performed, a quarantine period of at least seven days is required.
New Orleans is expected to return against Utah Jazz on July 30th.
The number one in the 2019 draft missed New Orleans’ first 44 games as he recovered from right knee arthroscopic surgery, but had a significant impact on the return from the injury.
The pelicans were 17-27 years old and finished 12th in the Western Conference when Williamson made his belated debut on January 22nd and the team went with the former Duke in lineup 10-9.
New Orleans restarts at 10th place in the West, three and a half games behind eighth place in Memphis.