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Thread: Zion's Introductory Press Conference

  1. #1

    Zion's Introductory Press Conference

    About 20 minutes from now, Zion will have his introductory presser. From what I can tell, it's just Zion: technically, Hayes and Alexander-Walker still belong to Atlanta and Brooklyn respectively until the trade becomes legal. Still, I'm excited to see him take media availability as a Pelican for the first real time. Let's dance!
    Zion ''The Earthquake'' Williamson

    Paying attention to the next draft too early.

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    Presser delayed by 30 minutes according to the Pelicans twitter. Not sure why but it doesn't really matter.

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    And the man is here! With Gentry, Griff, and Mrs Benson

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    Joel welcoming Trajan Langdon and Swin Cash. Says that storm season came early, and that it was ''Storm David Griffin.''

    ''We've never had this much cap room. Thanks, Griff.'' - Joel

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    Gayle thanking the fans for their passion and support. ''We speak a lot about our organisation being a family, and that certainly starts with our fans. I am so optimistic about the direction we are heading.''

    ''I am thrilled with what we have witnessed so far. In short order, he [Griff] has infused this team and this city with enthusiasm, hope, and a clear vision for success. From day one, our entire organisation has been in lock step with his plan to build a winning culture that will consistently compete at the highest level in the NBA. I believe we have put together the best front office in the NBA, and now we are thrilled to welcome our newest Pelican and his family to the Crescent City.''

    ''To receive the #1 pick in the draft is a prize any sports team would covet, but this one is different. [...] We could not have asked for a better player with more potential on the court. More importantly, we could not have hoped for a better person to represent and lead this franchise into a better place.''

    ''Zion, we are so excited to see you in a Pelicans uniform, and I hope you're able to see the excitement from our fans when our fans when the #1 pick was announced last night in New York. This city is ready to embrace you with open arms.''.

    She referenced Cam Jordan saying that if you love New Orleans it will love you back, and said he's totally right. Says we're building towards competing for championships, with a focus on sustainable success.

    ''While much work remains to be done, much progress has already occurred.''

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    Griffin's talk now:

    Starts by thanking Zion's agents for handling every step well, and being professional. Says ''I've never seen the equal of it.''

    He tears up a little saying ''Alvin and I were able to sit with Zion for about 20 minutes and we were so taken with him'', and describing talking to and meeting Zion's family. ''If you choose us, we choose you. And we choose the whole family, because when we're raising a family we're raising it together. [...] The city will put its arms around all of us.''

    Griff talks about the rumours surrounding Zion going back to Duke, and not wanting to play for the Pelicans. Said it was alarming because in his role, you know there's duplicity sometimes. Said he called Zion and his family back, and says that Zion and his father repeated back to him: ''if you choose us, we choose you.'' No doubt in their minds for a second.

    ''He's all about others, he's all about team, he's all about family. He's not about himself. And the reason that's so meaningful for us is that that's what we want to build. [...] Everything we do is about adding members to this family that are reflective of the same values Zion has instilled in him.''

    Repeats: ''When I said that Jrue Holiday is the face of this franchise, I meant that. He is that dude.''

    ''There is no narrative that should exist that we are a stepchild of that [The Saints], what we are is that we are beneficiaries of the fact that they already know how to do great. They already know how to do magical.''

    ''Take the journey, and be mindful of the fact that it's going to take some time.''

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    Alvin Gentry's turn at the podium.

    ''I'm gonna make it short and sweet, cause I think you guys are here to see... uh... anyone but me, I think. But it's an honour to really have an opportunity to coach a player like Zion. Not just from his ability standpoint, but from the character that he has. When you start to turn a franchise into a consistent winner, you gotta have the talent, but you gotta have people with the character that he has. When you add him to the mix with people like Jrue Holiday, I think you're starting to do that.''

    ''The style of basketball we play, he's going to fit into. We're going to be exciting to watch.''

    Gentry says we have some of the best, most loyal fans who will definitely love their players back.

    ''When you're lucky enough to have a generational player like that you're going to be able to coach, you relish that opportunity. [...] We talked in Chicago about old-school guys that I didn't think he had any right to know about, but he's a real basketball guy. [...] Those kind of guys, when you add them to your franchise, you know you're headed in the right direction.''

    ''We're so excited to have him on our team. Our assistant coaches have been writing lineups on the board, and every time his name comes up on the board it's in capital letters. We're really excited to have him on our team.''

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    Zion talking about the stuff on Fulton Street. ''I didn't think I deserved all that... I saw the passion from the fanbase.''

    Zion says he's pretty comfortable knowing he's so close to home, knowing it's only a short flight to South Carolina and he can always visit home easily.

    ''Working with Coach K was a different experience, because he's coached all the greats. He would tell you, ''I don't know who told you guys you were good, but you're not.'' [...] he always kept us grounded. Told us to be ourselves, and keep our game as simple as possible.''

    On Alvin's style of play. Joel asks him: are you in shape? ''I don't think you guys would have drafted me if that wasn't the case.'' good answer.

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    Q: How many texts and messages has Zion had in the last 10 hours.

    ''Wow, we're just jumping into it? Well, if I'm being honest, not too many cause I recently changed my phone number.''


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    Will Guillory: ''People always comment about your humility [...] has it been overwhelming to see the amount of love you've received?''

    ''Not at all, I just think about the times it was just me, my stepdad, a basketball, and the outdoor court. That keeps me grounded.''

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    Oleh Kosel: ''Have you had a chance to talk to Jrue, and what do you know about him and his game?''

    Zion: ''No, I've not had a chance to speak with Jrue. I don't really know too much about his game, but I know he's about his team, and I can't wait to get on the court with him.''

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    Zion gets asked about if we'll see a throwback #12, from highschool. Zion confirms nope, he's sticking with #1 from Duke.

    Andrew Smith from BSS: ''Do you have a favourite thing about New Orleans culture, since your last visit here?''

    Zion: ''I was only here for 24 hours, but I'm gonna say the family feel from just walking around. People would just come up, talk for a minute, and go about their day. They didn't hold me up or anything, just said I was going to love the city and everyone's family.''

    Fletch: ''Are you wise beyond your years?''

    Zion: ''I don't know if I can say that. I just try to look at it from a realistic point of view, but I am 18, and I have a lot to learn.'' Great answer, I think, to a kind of silly question.

    Gentry gets asked about the connection between Zion and himself. ''Well, we're both Southern guys. He's got a great basketball mind and he knows the history of the game. We talked about guys from the 70s [...] he's an easy guy to talk to, an easy guy to discuss things with, and I think he's going to be a joy to coach, really. He plays extremely hard, he's all about the team, and when they say he's a coach's player, the way we related I think it's easy to see how that could be. And I'm gonna let him shoot a lot. He knows that too.''

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    Pistol Pete Would Be Proud!! wuggie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Watching on ESPN news. Such a likable guy.

    R.I.P. to HunnyB/FlyGirl

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    Gets asked who the first teammate to contact him was. Zion says ''Frank Jackson was the first, and his first message was welcome to the family. I don't wanna say the rest cause that's brotherhood material.''

    Ron Snyder: ''How much does it excite you, the number of young guys coming to this team at once?''

    Zion: ''It's exciting because we're all young, they're close to my age and I can learn a lot from them. I think we're all just hungry to win.''

    Seth Dunlap: ''Any players you've looked up to, modelled your game after?''

    Zion: ''Michael Jordan, cause not only was he an assassin on offense, he was an assassin on defense. I try to model myself on a lot of people, because if I like something someone does, I like to take it and add it to mine.''

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by wuggie View Post
    Watching on ESPN news. Such a likable guy.
    I'm kinda going overboard with transcribing it, but I figure if someone misses it and just wants to read through some cut down quotes, there's all here. Can't hurt.

  20. #20
    ''When you hear Griffin say 'you are not the saviour', do you think that takes some of the weight off your shoulders?''

    Zion: ''Like I said, I look at things from a realistic point of view. I think people are doing a bit much. I'm 18. I haven't played one game yet, so I look it like that: I'm just trying to contribute to the team and whatever the vets need me to do, I'm ready to do.''

    Asked about the 'Lets Dance' comment, Zion says ''Me and a group of friends went to see Avengers: Endgame, and you know me, Thanos is my favourite character. Captain America's shield is broken and I think for once the movie is going to be realistic and have the bad guy win because he's the strongest. Then all of a sudden these heroes start appearing who disappeared like five years ago, and then my friend looks over to me and says ''let's dance'', so that's where it comes from.''

  21. #21
    Great press conference.

    I think I caught all of the main questions and answers, so anyone who missed it, or can't watch until later, can grab some of the key quotables and lines.

    A couple of lines here and there are paraphrased, because I can't type fast enough to get every single thing word perfect, but I think probably 90% of what I typed is word-for-word.
    Last edited by Pelicanidae; 06-21-2019 at 04:53 PM.

  22. #22
    Thanks Dae! I'm at work

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    Zion's step father takes the mic last minute.

    ''I'd like to say thank you to the city of New Orleans, Mrs Benson, Mr Griffin, Coach Gentry, the master of ceremonies. We are thrilled to death. Zion and I had this conversation about playing in New Orleans before the lottery. Nobody else knew that. I am so thankful, and I told him then that I thought this city would be a great place to go, and God worked it out. So on behalf of my family, I want to thank everyone who was involved with it, and Zion's stay in this city will be well worth it. Thank you.''

    Wow, great unexpected addition to the presser there.

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Pelicanidae View Post
    I'm kinda going overboard with transcribing it, but I figure if someone misses it and just wants to read through some cut down quotes, there's all here. Can't hurt.
    I watched it, then came back here to the thread and saw what you had posted. I thought, "Dang! You weren't actually typing all of that as it happened, were you?" Great job!!

  25. #25

    I would like to note that Jahlil Okafor is listed at 6'11, and Zion looks MAYBE 1.5'' shorter than him.

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