Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

New Orleans Pelicans fans aren’t happy with the restrictions being placed on Zion Williamson as he eases into NBA action for the first time, but coach Alvin Gentry won’t be changing his mind because of fan protests.

Williamson played 21 minutes in Friday night’s game, scoring 15 points and adding six rebounds, but sat on the bench at the end of it as the Pelicans lost to Denver. That prompted “we want Zion” chants from the home crowd in New Orleans, but Gentry was unmoved.

“It’s the way we’ve decided, it’s best for him right now and that’s what we’re going to stick to,” Gentry said, via Andrew Lopez of ESPN. “I know everybody gets real excited, and I hear every night that I’m the dumbest coach in the world about why would I take the guy out in the game of the last 5 minutes or 6 minutes? So I’ll live with that knowing that we’re doing the right thing.”

Williamson’s debut was incredibly exciting and promising, and it’s easy to understand why fans want to see more. However, he had knee surgery in October, and the last thing the Pelicans want to do is risk his future by overworking him now.

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.


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MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Can you name every NBA player in the three-point era to average 20 or more points in their rookie season?

To make this list, the player had to have qualified for the scoring title in the season listed (70 games and/or 1,400 total points scored). 

SCORE:
0/27
TIME:
6:00
28.2 / CHI / 84-85 / #23
Michael Jordan
24.3 / SA / 89-90 / #50
David Robinson
23.7 / SDC / 82-83 / #34
Terry Cummings
23.5 / PHI / 96-97 / #3
Allen Iverson
23.4 / ORL / 92-93 / #32
Shaquille O'Neal
22.9 / CLE / 86-87 / #4
Ron Harper
22.5 / LAC / 10-11 / #32
Blake Griffin
22.0 / GSW / 88-89 / #23
Mitch Richmond
21.9 / MIL / 94-95 / #13
Glenn Robinson
21.7 / NYK / 79-80 / #25
Bill Cartwright
21.6 / DET / 81-82 / #7
Kelly Tripucka
21.4 / DAL / 81-82 / #31
Jay Vincent
21.3 / BOS / 79-80 / #33
Larry Bird
21.2 / DAL / 18-19 / #77
Luka Dončić
21.1 / SA / 97-98 / #21
Tim Duncan
21.0 / DEN / 03-04 / #15
Carmelo Anthony
21.0 / CHA / 92-93 / #33
Alonzo Mourning
21.0 / HOU / 83-84 / #50
Ralph Sampson
20.9 / CLE / 03-04 / #23
LeBron James
20.6 / UTAH / 80-81 / #35
Darrell Griffith
20.6 / HOU / 84-85 / #34
Hakeem Olajuwon
20.5 / UTAH / 17-18 / #45
Donovan Mitchell
20.3 / SEA / 07-08 / #35
Kevin Durant
20.2 / PHI / 16-17 / #21
Joel Embiid
20.1 / CHI / 99-00 / #42
Elton Brand
20.1 / SAC / 09-10 / #13
Tyreke Evans
20.1 / IND / 82-83 / #33
Clark Kellogg

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