Pelicans' Zion Williamson Leaves NBA Bubble for Family Emergency

New Orleans Pelicans star Zion Williamson left the NBA bubble at the Walt Disney World Resort to take care of an urgent family medical matter. He intends to rejoin the team at a later date. "We fully support Zion's decision to leave the NBA campus to be with his family," Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin said in a statement,t as reported by ESPN. "Out of respect for the Williamson family, we will have no further comment at this time."

If Williamson is gone for seven days or fewer, he will quarantine for four days upon his return to the bubble if he has a negative test each day he's outside the bubble. If he is gone for longer than a week, he will still quarantine for four days if he has a negative test for the final seven days he is gone. Williamson could quarantine for 10 days if he doesn't have the required testing.

Williamson was drafted No. 1 overall by the Pelicans in the 2019 NBA Draft. However, his rookie season got off to a slow start, playing in only 19 games after returning to the team in January from meniscus surgery. With the restart of the NBA season approaching, Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry said the team will be ready to play without Williamson because they have done it 44 times this season.

"As far as the impact on our team, we played 44 games without him," Gentry said. "We had a tough stretch in there, but we also had a stretch where we won [11] out of 16 without him." Gentry also said the Pelicans are a "good team" and they will "have guys step in and play, and guys that will lift their game a little more." He then stated when it comes to Williamson, the team is not concerned about the basketball part for him, what we're concerned about is family."

Williamson, 20, was a standout player for Duke. In his one season with the Blue Devils, Williamson was named ACC Athlete of the Year, ACC Player of the Year, and ACC Rookie of the Year. He led the team to the ACC Tournament Championship, and also led them to the Elite 8 of the NCAA Tournament. He finished the season with 22.6 points, 8.9 rebounds, and 2.1 steals per game.