July 6 will go down as a great day in Pelicans history. On his 22nd birthday, Zion Williamson has officially committed to the Louisiana franchise for the next five years by signing a contract that can amount to up to $ 231 million depending on his presence, or not, in an All- NBA Team next season.
Along with Pelicans GM Trajan Langdon, President David Griffin and Coach Willie Green, Zion Williamson first thanked the franchise for its trust and support after a season shut out due to a foot injury.
“I just want to thank you all for the way you believed in me. For having given the opportunity to a kid like me to show my abilities for the team to win, I hope, several championship titles. And thank you for supporting me this year. As Coach Green said, last year on my birthday I learned that I had broken my foot. A full year has passed, and it has been hard. The fact that the Pelicans are giving me this birthday present a year later, I’m not going to let them down! Neither the city, nor my family, and above all, me. So thank you. »
Win over time
David Griffin was pleased to benefit from a group looking great with 15 players already under contract. The course is set with Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram signed on the long term (five years without option). It now remains to be won over time.
“We feel that with the team we’ve put together, with Zion being a big part of it all, coach Willie Green and the staff are going to be able to deliver a great run of success for a while. a long time. We are young, we are talented, and beyond that, we are very hungry. »
Having gone from a surprise team, coming back from nowhere to finally snatch its place in the playoffs, New Orleans now wants to take another step in its progression. For Willie Green, the contribution of Zion Williamson can help his group in this direction, by dint of work.
“The objective is to maximize the qualities of our group by adding them to the team. Frankly, I think it’s going to be scary for the rest of the NBA. Now, it’s going to take some time to get there. Which groups play better together, how can we take advantage of different mismatches, how can we get all our guys on the pitch and allow them to succeed… It all takes work. But we’ll get there at some point in the season and when we do, I think we can be a scary team.”
This is the starting point of a new story for Zion Williamson who intends to place his team in a tradition of victory, far from the turmoil that accompanied his convalescence.
“I want to prove that I’m a winner, it’s as simple as that. I want to win with the coach, my teammates, with the ultimate goal of winning a league title. This is what we are all fighting for. And as David Griffin said, we are hungry. You all saw last year what the team did, and I can’t wait to contribute to it”.