BOSTON (CBS) — Zion Williamson is leaving the NBA bubble in Orlando for an “urgent family medical matter,” the New Orleans Pelicans announced Thursday.
“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. “Out of respect for the Williamson family, we will have no further comment at this time.”READ MORE: Melrose Seeks To 'Deemphasize' Halloween In Classrooms, Hold 'Inclusive' Fall Events
Williamson, the No. 1 overall pick last summer, is expected to rejoin the team at some point for the NBA’s restart. If Williamson returns to the NBA’s campus in Orlando, he’ll need to quarantine for at least four days if he receives a negative test result a week prior to his return. Otherwise, he’ll face a 10-day quarantine.READ MORE: Young Crowd Eager To Attend Harry Styles Concert In Boston, But Are There COVID Concerns?
The NBA has had a handful of players test positive for COVID-19 ahead of the league’s scheduled restart, with another player landing in quarantine after he went off campus to receive a food delivery. But Zion’s sudden departure is a new story line for the NBA’s restart.
The Pelicans and 21 other NBA teams are currently going through training camp at Walt Disney World Resorts in Orlando, with games set to begin July 30. New Orleans is currently in 10th place in the Western Conference, 3.5 games behind the Memphis Grizzlies for the eight-seed. They have some work to do if they want to qualify for the postseason, an uphill climb that would get a lot steeper if Williamson isn’t part of the equation.MORE NEWS: Concord-Carlisle High School Teacher Accused Of Using Racist Slur Put On Leave
The forward played just 19 games as a rookie, missing the first 45 games of the season due to an injury, but averaged 23.6 points and 6.8 rebounds for the Pelicans. New Orleans was 10-9 this season when Zion played, and 18-27 when he did not.