In one of the most shocking and unpredictable moments in NBA history, the New Orleans Pelicans were drawn to have the number one pick for the NBA Draft next month. This will most likely end bad teams tanking during the regular season. A long time coming for the NBA when 10 or more teams who were out of playoff contention by January would start tanking in hopes are increasing their odds for that coveted No.1 pick. Eyes on the Draft Lottery have never been more curious than this year’s as the belief is that prospect, Zion Williamson will be a franchise-altering, hall-of-fame, and an all-time great player. The problem that people are having now is that Zion is almost 100 percent guaranteed to land in New Orleans and people, for some reason, hate New Orleans. They are all in the wrong.
The reaction to the Pelicans getting the number one pick for the draft is absolutely disgusting and it is unfair to the great Big Easy. I went to New Orleans last Winter and while it may not be the most pleasing to the eye and you may get a bit paranoid outside of the downtown area, NOLA has a lively entertainment scene, some of the best food on the planet, and very passionate sports fans. Yes, the Saints are the heart and soul of New Orleans, but that could be the Pelicans’ situation too with Zion. Going all the way back to when New Orleans was the Hornets and they had Chris Paul, the Pelicans have not had one season in their franchise history where they were a legitimate championship contender and let’s not forget that this team has only been around since 2002. There is no history or prestige of basketball in New Orleans, so of course, the sports fanatics in the city do not embrace the Pelicans as much as they do the Saints. David Griffin has a chance to change the Pelicans’ culture if he can convince Anthony Davis to stay and build a championship franchise with Zion. These two together would be a dangerous duo both on the offensive and especially the defensive side of the ball. Davis has expanded his game to the perimeter and has a fairly solid three-point shot, which will create lanes for Zion to get to the basket and vice-versa. Good luck driving to the basket when Zion and Anthony Davis come crashing down on you, Russell Westbrook.
The worst about the reaction to the Draft Lottery was the media and sports fan saying how it is detrimental to the NBA to have Zion go to New Orleans instead of an LA, New York or Chicago. This is why owners of teams like the Pelicans say that they get treated like second-class citizens because of no one wanting them to have great players. The media is even going to the lengths of trying to drop hints of Zion returning to Duke because he has not signed with an agent. For the love of God, STOP IT. We wanted to complain about LeBron tampering by trying to get Anthony Davis to the Lakers, but now, these same people are trying to convince Zion Williamson that the Pelicans are bad for him and will ruin his career. Is that not tampering? Let Zion determine for himself what he wants to do. This is his life and his career. Do not push for what you want to see just because YOU think it is good for the NBA.
After all the turmoil that the New Orleans’ sports scene went through in the last few months from having Anthony Davis demanding a trade out of the city to the Saints getting robbed of a Super Bowl trophy, the city deserved something good to happen to them and they have a high potential of getting that with the hopes of Zion being a star and the chances of keeping Anthony Davis long term. The only way you get to have a valid opinion on New Orleans is if you take a trip and spend a couple of days in the city. If you do not, leave Zion alone. Don’t send unwarranted hate towards the city and just be happy for the smallest market in basketball getting some sort of leverage in a league that favors the elites.