Zion Williamson has left the NBA bubble at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida to attend to an urgent family matter, the Pelicans announced Thursday.
The Pelicans said in a statement that star rookie Williamson, the Pelicans’ second-leading scorer at 23.6 points per game, plans to rejoin the team for the restart of the NBA season at a later date but did not offer any specifics.
‘We fully support Zion’s decision to leave the NBA campus to be with his family,” the Pelicans’ vice president of basketball operations David Griffin said. “Out of respect for the Williamson family, we will have no further comment at this time.”
Whether Williamson will miss any games remains to be determined. Per NBA protocols, he will be required to quarantine between two to four days once he returns to Orlando provided he is tested daily for coronavirus during his time away. Failure to undergo daily testing would require a quarantine period of at least seven days.
New Orleans are scheduled to return to play July 30 against the Utah Jazz.
The number one overall pick of the 2019 draft missed New Orleans’ first 44 games while recovering from arthroscopic surgery on his right knee, but has made a significant impact upon returning from the injury.
The Pelicans were 17-27 and in 12th place in the Western Conference when Williamson made his delayed debut on January 22 and the team has gone 10-9 with the former Duke standout in the line-up.
New Orleans enter the restart in 10th place in the West, three and a half games behind eighth-place Memphis.