Zion Williamson downplays controversial late-game non-call
New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson (1) reacts to his foul in the second quarter against the Denver Nuggets at Ball Arena.  Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Zion Williamson downplays controversial late-game non-call: 'Gotta earn my respect'

With the Pelicans down two points to the Nuggets, Zion Williamson had a chance to tie the game with 2.2 seconds left, but his dunk attempt was blocked by Nikola Jokic. However, replay showed that Jokic appeared to make contact with Zion's hand and head, which should have earned him two free throws. But Zion did not seem bothered by the non-call, saying that there's "not much I can do" about referees not calling a foul.

"I gotta earn my respect," said Zion. "I'm only in Year 2. Gotta get a couple more years under my belt and hopefully, things change with that."

Pelicans coach Stan Van Gundy was less diplomatic when asked about the no-foul call. Though he did not outright say the referees missed the call, he did tell reporters that he saw the replay and said that Zion deserves more foul calls.

The loss to the Nuggets sets the Pelicans even further back in the playoff race, as they are now four games behind the Golden State Warriors, who currently hold the 10th spot in the Western Conference. With only 10 games left to play this season, New Orleans is in need of a major win streak or a collapse by the Warriors to have any hope of making the play-in tournament.

Blake Harper is a writer based in New York. He's originally from San Diego and is one of the few Chargers fans left. He doesn't believe in ties and loves elaborate celebrations. Follow him on Twitter @beezyharps 

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