It seems our long national nightmare is reaching its end.

Wednesday morning, Pelicans Executive VP of Basketball Operations David Griffin offered a firm date for Zion Williamson's return:

The news comes on the heels of a couple-week stretch that saw Williamson's status creep gradually towards this point. First, he was back at practice on Jan. 2. Then, one by one, clips of his progress began to surface:

It will all culminate with his NBA debut, which, according to Griffin, should be against the Spurs (in New Orleans) on Jan. 22. Williamson, who had surgery to repair a torn meniscus in October, hasn't played since the Pelicans' second to last preseason game — also against San Antonio — on Oct. 13, a game in which he notched 22 points and 10 rebounds on 8-for-11 shooting. Time is a flat circle.


A Bulls tie-in, you ask? Got you covered. Provided Williamson does return when the Pelicans plan for him to, he should be back, loose and with a few games under his belt for a trip to Chicago to see the Bulls on Feb. 6. Hope you snagged your tickets early.

It won't be Williamson's first professional game at the United Center, either. Bulls fans will remember him torching Chicago on Oct. 9 to the tune of 29 points on 12-for-13 shooting in a preseason Pelicans victory, rattling rims all the way.

What he could have in store for us this time is uknown. But surely, it will have to be seen to be believed.

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