Duke's Mike Krzyzewski said Williamson was not ready to get back out on the court.

By Alaa Abdeldaiem
July 15, 2019

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski believes Pelicans rookie and 2019 No. 1 overall pick Zion Williamson should not have played in the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas.

In an interview with Forbes' Adam Zagoria, Krzyzewski said Williamson's schedule full of draft appearances, interviews and awards should have kept him from taking the court for the Pelicans' Summer League debut against the Knicks last week.

"No, I thought really he never should've played just because he's been on this circuit of awards, the ESPYs, everything," Krzyzewski said. "I don't think he's in the playing shape or the mental shape to play."

Williamson was shut down for the remainder of the tournament after suffering a bruised knee during the first half of the Pelicans' opener. He was 4-for-9 from the floor on the night with 11 points and three rebounds before exiting the contest. The Pelicans do not believe the injury is serious and decided to sit their top pick for precautionary reasons.

"Zion will move forward from this issue without incident," Pelicans executive VP David Griffin said. "However, in an abundance of caution, we have made the determination that he will not appear in game action for the remainder of the NBA Summer League. He will continue to take part in training and conditioning with our performance team."

Williamson, a 6'7'', 285-pound freshman sensation at Duke, stole headlines throughout last season. He averaged 22.6 points, 8.9 rebounds and 2.1 assists on 68% shooting over his lone year with the Blue Devils and went on to become just the third freshman ever to win the Naismith Men's Player of the Year Award.

Last week, Williamson also became the first Duke player to win the ESPY for 2019 College Athlete of the Year.

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