Chris Webber: “I think the narrative on Zion has been a little unfair about him being injured, because I really don’t believe he was injured during the preseason. I think that maybe the Pelicans said ‘wait a minute, why would we put him in this situation to get hurt and maybe gave him a little time off.'”
TNT NBA broadcaster Chris Webber made headlines Tuesday night when he speculated on New Orleans Pelicans Zion Williamson’s injury absence, making a pretty clear statement on the NBA opening night broadcast that he didn’t believe Zion was actually hurt at all.
Webber made the comments while providing color commentary for the Pelicans vs. Toronto Raptors game that was massively billed as being the former Duke phenom’s first official game in the NBA.
That obviously never happened after it was revealed that Zion would miss the first 6-8 weeks of the season because of arthroscopic surgery to his right knee to repair a torn meniscus injury that he suffered in the preseason.
Webber hinted that it might be a clandestine case of ‘load management’ as teams have become incessantly concerned with over-usage injuries and burnout. Some pundits around the league have even labeled the rest strategy as one of the worst facets of the modern NBA, as it's obviously a concern to fans who pay hundreds of dollars for overpriced stadium tickets and concessions just to find out at the last second that their favorite player is 'resting'.
Zion is expected to miss the first 20 games of the season.
NBA stars Kawhi Leonard and Kyrie Irving are perhaps the posterboys of the movement, with both players racking up over a dozen healthy scratches last season.