JJ Reddick slams Zion Williamson: 'I can describe him as a detached teammate'

2022-02-22 19:51
Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
Credit Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

New Orleans Pelicans big man Zion Williamson has been absent from the court this season due to a foot injury, but according to his former teammate JJ Redick, he's absent off the court as well.

The retired player blasted the first pick in the 2019 NBA Draft for not reaching out to his new teammate CJ McCollum. Redick didn't mince words, talking about a lack of investment on Zion's part.

“This just shows a complete lack of investment in your team, in the organization, in the city," Redick said on Tuesday’s First Take.

"I get that he's hurt and away from the team, but you just traded for one of the 50 best players in the league. A guy that’s supposed to be paired with you. Reach out and say hello."

Days after McCollum was traded to the New Orleans Pelicans at the NBA trade deadline, the former Portland Trail Blazer said he had not yet heard from Williamson, who is currently injured and has been rehabbing his right foot.

“This is a pattern of behavior with Zion that we are seeing again and again. And look, I was his teammate. I can describe him as a detached teammate,” Redick argued and added:

2-pointers this season

Points made: 28,2
Accuracy: 51,9%
Place in standings: 13
Record max: 40
Record min: 19
Most made 2FGs: Brandon Ingram

“That is an accurate statement. This is the basic level of humanity being a teammate. Send a text to a guy when he gets traded to your team. That is just normal behavior. That is bar minimum that you have to do.”

Redick also said that the Pelicans sent out an email to season tickets holders and Zion’s name wasn’t mentioned.

“Guess whose name wasn’t on the email?” Redick asked. “Zion’s. Like what the heck is going on in New Orleans.”

CJ McCollum recently admitted that he had yet to hear from Zion Williamson. "I haven’t had conversations with him directly," McCollum said during TNT’s pregame show before All-Star Saturday.

“I’ve spoken with some people close to him and look forward to sitting down with him sooner than later," he added. "I know about as much as you do right now but I’m gonna get to the bottom of it."

"There's a responsibility that you have as an athlete when you play a team sport to be fully invested. You're fully invested in your body, you're fully invested in your work and you're fully invested in your teammates. That is your responsibility and we have not seen that from Zion," Redick said Tuesday on First Take.

Redick and Williamson were teammates with the Pelicans for parts of the past two seasons before Redick announced his retirement and joined ESPN as an NBA analyst before this season.

Redick said he voiced his concerns with Williamson while in New Orleans.

"This is something I addressed with Zion in front of the team," Redick said. "This is going back to his rookie year."

Williamson has not played this season after suffering a fracture in his right foot that required surgery over the summer. After there was initial optimism that Williamson would be back for the start of the season, his return has been delayed several times.

When he was healthy, Williamson averaged 27.0 points, 7.2 rebounds and 3.7 assists while playing 61 of the team's 72 games last season.

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