ESPN is broadcasting Zion Williamson’s regular season debut this evening. The New Orleans Pelicans are taking on the San Antonio Spurs in the nationally televised broadcast. The Worldwide Leader is facing some criticism from fans for how it’s handling Williamson’s debut.
About 30 minutes into the broadcast, fans started to take issue with ESPN talking too much about Dallas Mavericks second-year star Luka Doncic.
Doncic, of course, is not playing in this Spurs-Pelicans game.
“Why are we talking about Luka Doncic during a Spurs-Pelicans game?” one NBA writer tweeted.
Why are we talking about Luka Doncic during a Spurs-Pelicans game?
— Mike Prada. I have spoken (@MikePradaSBN) January 23, 2020
He wasn’t the only one to complain.
*Zion is making his NBA debut*
ESPN: “Lets talk about Luka Doncic”
— Chris Rosvoglou (@RosvoglouReport) January 23, 2020
We’re like 7 minutes into a super hyped up Spurs-Pelicans game and the broadcast is talking about Luka Doncic during game action. Tough to say if there’s anything that could be done about low ratings.
— Brandon Blagg (@beblagg) January 23, 2020
10 minutes into Zion’s debut, ESPN is already bored and started showing Luka Doncic graphics.
— SpokterWho (@SpokterW) January 23, 2020
DeMar hits a great reverse layup and JVG takes 3 seconds to mention it before going back to talking about Luka Doncic, who is not playing in this game.
— Anthony Doyle (@Anthonysmdoyle) January 23, 2020
The Luka Doncic comments aren’t the only point of criticism for NBA fans, either.
The broadcast is talking quite a bit about Williamson’s size and if he might be playing overweight. Williamson is listed at 6-foot-6, 284 pounds.
“The night I was body shamed.”
In this months @TheAtlantic
— Russillo (@ryenarussillo) January 23, 2020
It would be great if announcers didn’t feel the need to call Zion fat 3 minutes into his career. Would make for a much better product, imo.
— Sam Vecenie (@Sam_Vecenie) January 23, 2020
Whole ESPN crew just taking turns callin Zion fat 😂 chill yo.
— Danny LoPriore (@DannyLoPriore) January 23, 2020
Jackson: Zion is too fat.
JVG: He is too fat. Fat players never used to be able to make it in the NBA. The league is soft now.
Jackson: MAMA THERE GOES THAT MAN to the buffet for Zion.
JVG: We didn’t have buffets back in my day. We ate popcorn left under the seats.
— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) January 23, 2020
There’s going to be a lot of Zion Williamson talk on ESPN moving forward. Hopefully most of it isn’t centered on his weight.
The Pelicans currently trail the Spurs, 31-24, at the end of the first quarter.
Williamson has one assist and one turnover in four minutes of play. He’s expected to play roughly 20 minutes this evening.
SOURCE: The Spun, Andrew Holleran