Pelicans draw inspiration from ”The Last Dance”.
Orlando—The NBA has returned to the hardwood, but Thursday night’s game between the Jazz and Pelicans have left some bizarre questions. Zion Williamson only logged 15 minutes of playing time while the Pelicans are in the midst of fighting for a playoff spot. In the waning minutes of the game, which stayed relatively competitive throughout, Zion was nowhere to be found.
Many analysts, writers, and bloggers were left scratching their heads as to why. In the post-game news conference, New Orleans Head Coach Alvin Gentry has this to say:
"Of course we wish we could've played him down the stretch, but we used the minutes that were given to us and that's the way it is. The medical people said we played them in the minutes that were allowed for us to play him, and just move on."
Then, in a rare appearance, Pelicans GM Trajan Langdon helped explain what had transpired. “We’ve all missed basketball and we want Zion to play.” said Langdon “But you saw the Last Dance, right? Remember when MJ was on minute restrictions? It turned him into the player he became. So yeah, I wanted Zion to sit and watch. The Last Dance was our inspiration in adopting this strategy.”
Zion Williamson is scheduled to play in all the remaining Pelicans games but will be held out of the final 5 minutes of each game, regardless of the situation.