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CJ McCollum Speaks On His 'Serious Conversations' With Zion Williamson

CJ McCollum speaks on Pelicans' season, Zion Williamson's talent, and more.

NEW ORLEANS Pelicans guard CJ McCollum sat down with podcast host Ryan Russillo to discuss his relationship with Zion Williamson. Appearing on the latest episode of The Ryan Russillo Podcast, McCollum said he and other veterans on the team have had "serious conversations with him (Zion) on multiple occasions" about what needs to happen to maximize his extraordinary skillset.

"I think one of the things he respects about me most is that I'm honest, I'm blunt, and I've never said anything to the public that I haven't said behind closed doors to him directly," McCollum told Russillo.

McCollum adds, "I've told him you can be as good as you want to be, and that's not for everybody.......The level of Z is a level not everyone can get to." 

Zion Williamson CJ McCollum

CJ also reveals he speaks to Zion often as their lockers are beside each other, and Zion sits next to him and Garrett Temple on the team plane. Health and availability for Zion Williamson have been hot-button issues ever since he got drafted in 2019. 

Recently, NBA Hall of Fame player Charles Barkley spoke on his desire to sit down with Williamson and give him some advice given to him in the past.

Williamson has appeared in 114 games since being drafted from Duke. During this time, he's averaged 25.8 points, seven rebounds, and shot 60.5% from the field. Two All-Star game appearances as well are on his resume. Still, McCollum knows there are greater heights to reach for Zion.

"There are stars in this league, and there are planets," McCollum says about the NBA. "(Nikola) Jokic. Planet. Steph Curry. Planet........You (Zion) are a planet. You have to move like a planet.........Your ceiling is unlike anything the game has ever seen."

To Zion's credit, he came into last season in the best shape of his career, working with trainer Jasper Bibbs on his conditioning and weight. An unfortunate hamstring injury suffered in January derailed Zion's and the Pelicans' season. Zion told reporters before the season ended that physically he feels fine, but not quite like Zion yet. 

With an entire offseason to get healed and supportive teammates like CJ McCollum urging him for greatness, the rest is on Zion to respond. Only time will tell if that happens or not. 

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