CJ McCollum thinks Zion Williamson is listening to him.
Williamson’s name popped up in trade rumors this week ahead of the 2023 NBA draft, and former draft pick Maurya Mills went on a weeks-long tirade about it after he participated in a gender reveal party with another woman.
In the same time frame, NBA insider Brian Windhorst said Williamson had nothing to do with his Pelican teammates.
“It’s amazing to me how in the league it is that Pelicans discuss Zion’s business,” Windhorst said earlier this week. “I wouldn’t rule out anything I think, but the events of the last six months with Zion are what they are. There is no relationship between Zion and the organization. And minimal rapport between Zion and his teammates, from what I understand.”
McCollum appeared on Ryan Rossello’s podcast on The Ringer and was asked if Williamson was listening to him.
“I think it does,” McCollum said, as covered by The Spun. “That’s a really good question. From a respect standpoint, he respects my style and respects my resume.”
McCollum said he’s respected throughout the league as a winner, and as someone who plays the game “the right way,” and said he believes Williamson is respected for his honesty and candor.
“I’ve never said anything to an audience that I wouldn’t say right behind closed doors, and the things I say to them directly are not sugar-coated like I do to the media or to you in conversation,” McCollum continued.
“We are very close and we communicate more often than the public eye can comprehend,” he added. “If you ask him, he will definitely say.”
Williamson played just 29 games last season after missing last season with a foot injury.