Zion Williamson Sep 26, 2022; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson (1) during a press conference at the New Orleans Pelicans Media Day from the Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

New Orleans Pelicans star CJ McCollum has been busy this offseason defending embattled teammate Zion Williamson.

McCollum was at it again on a recent episode of The Ryen Russillo Podcast.

In early June, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported that Williamson has “no relationship” with the Pelicans organization, and “minimal relationship” with his teammates. Russillo asked McCollum if he thinks Williamson listens to him.

“I think that he does,” McCollum said. “That’s a really good question. From a respect standpoint, he respects my approach, he respects my résumé.

“We’re very close and we very much so communicate often more than the public eye would understand. If you asked him, he would say absolutely.”

It’s not the first time this offseason the high-scoring guard has stepped forward in defense of his teammate. In an appearance on Russillo’s podcast in May, he said he speaks often with Williamson.

“I think one of the things he respects about me most is that I’m honest, I’m blunt, and I’ve never said anything to the public that I haven’t said behind closed doors to him directly,” McCollum said (via Sports Illustrated).

“There are stars in this league, and there are planets,” McCollum said he’s told Williamson. “(Nikola) Jokic. Planet. Steph Curry. Planet. … You (Zion) are a planet. You have to move like a planet. … Your ceiling is unlike anything the game has ever seen.”

Williamson should look into hiring McCollum to do his PR because he could use some help. He recently made news when a porn star alleged on social media that she’d had a relationship with him. The often-injured star is also the subject of trade rumors.


About Arthur Weinstein

Arthur spends his free time traveling around the U.S. to sporting events, state and national parks, and in search of great restaurants off the beaten path.