“Basketball is basketball, I’ve been a leader my whole life, so it’s not hard for me to transition,” McCollum said on Saturday before taking part in the 3-Point Shooting Contest. “It’s more so getting used to my teammates, the staff, the organization, and figuring out how to get the most out of everybody, including myself.”
The one guy on the team McCollum hasn’t started to get the most out of is the injured Zion — the two haven’t even spoken, McCollum said on TNT’s pregame show before All-Star Saturday. From Mason Ginsberg of Bourbon St. Shots and Blue Wire Pods:
CJ McCollum to the TNT crew re: Zion communications:
"I haven't had conversations w/ him directly. I've spoken with some people close to him & look forward to sitting down with him sooner than later. I know about as much as you do right now but I'm gonna get to the bottom of it"
— Mason Ginsberg (@MasonGinsberg) February 20, 2022
Zion is away from the team, rehabbing from offseason surgery on his right foot, which may require a second surgery. He has not played a minute for the Pelicans this season. There have been rumors of a real disconnect between Zion and the Pelicans organization, and he reportedly has not been the most diligent person with his rehab.
This is just another sign of that disconnect — an invested player reaches out to the star your team just traded for. Zion didn’t bother. That alone says plenty. McCollum has tried, but they have yet to speak. None of it is a good sign for Pelicans’ fans.