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Pelicans: Zion Williamson leaves Orlando for family medical emergency

Zion Williamson returns

ORLANDO, FL - JULY 11: Zion Williamson #1 of the New Orleans Pelicans during practice at the hotel as part of the NBA Restart 2020 on July 11, 2020 in Orlando, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2020 NBAE (Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE via Getty Images

Rumors swirled that the NBA structured its resumption just to include Zion Williamson.

And now the Pelicans’ rising star has left Orlando.

Pelicans:

Hopefully, everything is alright with Williamson and his family.

The NBA has protocols for players to exit and re-enter the bubble. It depends how long Williamson is gone, what testing he undergoes while away and how he travels back. Even if Williamson warrants sympathy for a situation out of his control, preventing coronavirus from infiltrating the bubble must remain a priority.

Williamson looked ready to lead New Orleans’ playoff push. Though his playing time was limited due to injury then conditioning, Williamson was an absolute force while on the court.

Even with Brandon Ingram starring and several other veterans contributing, the Pelicans just never sustained high-level play without Williamson. His inside presence brought everything together. The sooner he returns, the better for the team.

Of course, this family matter comes first.