New Orleans Pelicans executive vice president David Griffin is furious about Zion Williamson’s injury — and what he thinks led to it.
Williamson is out indefinitely with a broken left ring finger, jeopardizing the Pelicans’ fading playoff hopes and potentially ending the star forward’s season. In a frustrated media session Friday, Griffin blamed NBA officials for failing to protect Williamson, adding that the forward is now hurt because he is “mauled” in the paint regularly and nothing is done about it.
David Griffin on Zion Williamson being out indefinitely with fractured left hand: "He's injured now because of the open season there's been on him in the paint. He has been absolutely mauled in the paint on a regular basis." https://t.co/eidfxSiU07
— Jim Eichenhofer (@Jim_Eichenhofer) May 7, 2021
Griffin: "We failed. We did not protect (Zion)."
— Will Guillory (@WillGuillory) May 7, 2021
Griffin’s frustration is certainly understandable, and he probably has a fine coming his way for these comments. At a certain point, though, there’s only so much you can do to protect a player like Williamson. He’s going to be playing in the paint, and there will be contact. Even if referees are calling everything, it doesn’t mean he won’t get hit.
You can understand Griffin’s frustration. After all, Williamson had a similar injury scare a little more than a month ago. That mostly outlines the nature of the game, not that the referees didn’t do enough to protect him.