New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson spoke with the media on Wednesday.
Williamson is entering his second season with the franchise after being selected with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.
“I feel great mentally and physically,” Williamson said. “Year one was a lot mentally and physically for me, but I needed that experience. It showed me a lot. I’m getting ready for year two.”
Williamson played only 24 games in his rookie season. He missed the first three months of the season after having surgery on his right knee.
The Pelicans hired a new head coach over the offseason. New Orleans hired former Orlando Magic and Detroit Pistons head coach Stan Van Gundy.
“I think he’s a great guy,” Williamson said. “He’s old school just like my stepfather and just like Coach K. I feel like that’s something I’m going to easily relate with. Personally, I’m excited to work with him. I can see his love and passion for the game.”
New Orleans also recently signed forward Brandon Ingram to a five-year, max contract extension. Williamson congratulated Ingram on the new deal.
“Brandon was more than deserving of that max contract,” Williamson said. “All the extra work he put in, always trying to get better and being a great teammate so he was more than deserving. I’m glad he’s going to stick around.”
Williamson also explained his relationship with Ingram.
“As far as me and him, we have a great relationship,” Williamson said. “We’re just excited to make some moves and try to win. We want to win together.”
Williamson said he spent the offseason working out with those closest to him, including his stepfather.
“We put in a lot of work and was with my family a lot,” Williamson said. “With COVID-19 going on, you never know what’s going to happen. I was just with my family and worked out with my stepfather.”