The New Orleans Pelicans rookie said he felt like a kid again while staying basketball-ready during the COVID-19 pandemic and has improved aspects of his game.
Williamson: ‘Felt like I was 5 years old again’
Williamson, 20, went back in time as he prepared for the resumption of the NBA season with his stepfather, Lee Anderson. The league will tip off later this month at Disney World after going on hiatus in March.
“It just felt like I was 5 years old again,” Williamson said Friday. “Just went back to square one, tried to get my body where it needs to be, get my fundamentals back to square one and start from there. So yeah, it was just like starting over at 5 again. It was a great process to learn it all over.”
Williamson also worked with Pelicans staffers as he continued rehab. The No. 1 overall pick underwent knee surgery for a torn right lateral meniscus and missed the start of the 2019-20 season. He made his NBA debut in January and averaged 23.6 points, 6.8 rebounds and 2.2 assists over 19 games.
Williamson teases improved game
Head coach Alvin Gentry said the former Duke star “looked great” at the team’s first full practice in Florida. He commended his conditioning and improvements.
“He's made a lot of strides in his shooting, I think. Although we weren't together, he did a lot to improve his game,” Gentry said, via ESPN.
Known for monstrous dunks at Duke, Williamson succeeded at the basket in his short rookie showing. He took 76.7 percent of his attempts there and teased additions to his repertoire..
“Yeah, I think there are going to be parts of my game that you didn't see before that you'll see when we start playing,” Williamson said, via ESPN.
The Pelicans (28-36) are 3.5 games behind the Memphis Grizzlies (32-33) for the Western Conference’s eighth seed. They could force a play-in series to get into the playoffs and face the Los Angeles Lakers, setting up Williamson vs. LeBron James in their first postseason match-up.
Williamson emerged from quarantine last week slimmed down, muscular and toned. He’s been constantly questioned about his weight. He’s also one of the newest NBA2K cover athletes, starring on the next generation console covers.
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