Tyler Kaufman / Associated Press
Finding Greg Oden's name trending on Twitter on October 21
But that's where the NBA is after the New Orleans Pelicans unveiled the # 1 overall pick undergoing surgery to remove debris from a broken meniscus.
"The term" debridement "suggests that Williamson could undergo a meniscectomy in which the damaged tissue was removed," Jeff Stotts of InStreetClothes.com told.
Pelicans officials identified the injury with a schedule of six to eight weeks of inevitable recovery time, which sets Zion's return sometime between the opening week of December and Chris Tmas.
"The estimated timeline is exactly that, an estimate," Stotts said. It seems likely that Zion's recovery will be fluid, which means he will be assessed as he progresses through rehabilitation and treatment. The Pelican medical staff is likely to take a conservative approach and will not rush back. "
Marking Zion as a" generational athlete "tremendously explores his true value to both the Pelicans and the league. An icon.
Before playing in a single game, he became the most followed novice on social media in NBA history, with 4.9 million followers between Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.The Las Vegas Summer League saw the Pelicans opener to the New York Knicks selling ticket prices 193 percent higher than 2018, per the online ticketing market TickPick.The New Orleans home game has risen in price by 72 percent and its
"We took the opportunity to put New Orleans there to get Zion's first game, and the Pelicans and their brand new team, in Toronto," Thomas Carelli, NBA vice president, told The Athletic
The NBA has invested heavily in Zion and the Pelicans, exhibited by their appearances in 30 national video games – including the regular season opener and a Christmas day matchup against the Nuggets – has the league made its intention clear: Zion becomes the new face of the NBA.
From Nike to Gatorade, Panini and NBA2K, brands and companies are falling in line to sign or collaborate with the man former presidents sit alongside to watch.
But with investment comes risk, and Zion is no exception.
6 & # 39; 6 ", 285-pound freight train shows outstanding power, speed and finesse in his game.
Will his combination of size and athleticism break down his body?
" It is important for his long-standing health that he is fully recovering from surgery and any underlying or inherent factors that may have caused the injury are addressed, "continued Stotts.
Jeff Stotts @ InStreetClothes
New at https: // t .co / eAm93BKSY6: Understanding Zion Williamson's Lateral Meniscus Tear: https://t.co/CfCb6zl9Lfebrit19659020??Vi ight can be an inherent factor in this injury, and it's something Aaron Nelson (vice president of player care and performance) and Pelican's training staff will need to investigate and evaluate immediately, Zion's listed weight of 285 pounds makes him the second-heaviest player in the NBA, just lighter than Boban Marjanovic.
"The Pelicans plan to figure out the best method while letting Zion be Zion, and that doesn't include managing his weight, "reported Shams Charania of The Athletic . "Sources told me that the Pelicans do not think it is a weight problem for Zion Williamson. They do not blame their weight on the injury. There is 100 percent confidence in the Pelicans that this is an isolated injury."
They had better be safe.
The Pelicans have navigated these waters in the past with damning results. In NBC Sports' Tom Haberstroh's paragraph, "How the Pelicans Failed Anthony Davis," Haberstroh describes how the Pelican medical staff categorically floundered their responsibilities during their seven seasons.
"Last season [2017-18]the Pelicans suffered most player losses due to injury and cost the team nearly $ 30 million in lost salary. The season before that, they ranked third last in lost games due to injury. Five seasons, the Pelicans have lost the second most games due to injury or illness. Only the Sixers have managed worse in the last five seasons, which has been well-chronicled. "
The Pelicans took a step to improve their player care with the addition of Nelson in May, but the team's medical staff – led by Misty Suri, team physician and head of medical services – remain the same.
You may recognize Suri's name. Suri and fellow orthopedic Deryk Jones were dismissed by the New Orleans Saints in 2017 after misdiagnosing the cornerback Delvin Breaux fibula fracture as a contusion.
Breaux would not play again in the NFL.
A menial tear is not a career that ends in any way whatsoever. Blake Griffin has played seven seasons since the injury knocked him out of the 2012 Olympics and had his most productive season ever last year.
"It is a short-term setback that is likely to increase the risk of injury moving forward," Stotts said. "But that doesn't mean he can't have a long and productive career. It means he'll probably have to focus on routine maintenance going forward and be more aware of how he's training his lower extremities."
Future Hall by Famer Dwyane Wade enjoyed one of the most exceptional careers for a firefighter in league history but complained about the operation as a collegiate athlete in 2002.
"When [Russell] Westbrook got his injury, they kind of saved his meniscus," Wade told ESPN's Brian Windhorst in 2013. "Mine was taken out, and it opens you up to some knee injuries and problems."
The difference between repair and removal is a strong one. Although extraction is a short-term fix, it can have long-lasting branches, such as osteoarthritis. A repair requires a more extended recovery period with more promising results.
"Although Wade can undo his procedure, sometimes a takedown is the only option," Stotts said. In order to undergo a real repair, the damage must have occurred in a specific area of menisci . "
Wade's 16-year career proves that a superstar athlete can maintain his athletics and still carve out a Hall of Fame career.
Tyler Kaufman / Associated Press
The Oden comparison is a rough one. Zion's injury history is limited to a grade 1 right knee strain in his lone season at Duke and knee-to-knee collision during the summer. After the former, Zion returned to court three weeks later and looked as good as ever. 19659004] Managing Zion's body is a unique challenge, as Pelican Executive Vice President David Griffin said: "He is a population of one."
LeBron James has a similar body type and he has been remarkably healthy in his 17-year NBA career That might give Zion and the Pelicans hope, but LeBron was 45 pounds easier coming out of high school.
The Pelicans – to the great fight of the NBA – must protect their investments at all costs. Six to eight weeks r of a season will be forgotten six months from now, much less a year from now, if Zion can return to its historic preseason form.
For Zion's sake, and for their own sake, they must get this right of recovery.
Former Hawks GM turned NBA TV and radio analyst Wes Wilcox joins "The Full 48 with Howard Beck" to discuss the Portland Trail Blazers as a legitimate challenger, the Clippers as the best guard in the league, his pick for play-offs , and why LeBron is still the best player in the NBA.