If Alvin Gentry had been in the studio with T-Bob Hebert and Jordy Culotta on their radio show Thursday morning, chances are the Pelicans coach would've yelled "f*** yeah" again, just like he had done two days earlier.
This time, it wouldn't have been because of those Ping-Pong balls that landed in his favor Tuesday night, giving the Pelicans the No. 1 pick in the draft and sending New Orleans into a frenzy that probably deserved its own parade.
This time it would have been because of the words of Lee Anderson, the step father of Zion Williamson, who for the past 48 hours has been all the buzz in the city and across the NBA.
Alvin Gentry isn't always the most excitable guy, but you wouldn't have known that on Tuesday evening.
Williamson, as no-brainer of a No. 1 pick as the NBA draft has seen recently, has never stepped foot in the city of New Orleans.
And according to many members of the national media in the hours after the draft, he shouldn't. At least, not as a member of the Pelicans.
Some say he should ask to be traded to a bigger market where the lights are brighter and where there are more zeroes on the checks for those endorsement deals. (That's code speak for New York or L.A.)
Some even suggested since he hasn't signed with an agent that he should withdraw from the draft and return to Duke rather than play here.
Keep in mind, Williamson is the same guy who just three months ago busted out of his shoe in a freak play during a game against rival North Carolina and injured his knee. Why would anyone take a risk like that again and leave millions and millions of dollars on the table just to avoid playing with a franchise national "experts" don't think is suitable for him?
Anderson, speaking on Hebert and Culotta's "Off The Bench" radio show on ESPN104.5 Thursday morning, swatted those speculations away much the same way his stepson would swat a shot back into the second row at Cameron Indoor Arena.
"(It's) nothing we have even considered," Anderson said when asked about Williamson returning to Duke.
And they shouldn't have considered it. The franchise isn't as bad as the national media would make you believe. Owner Gayle Benson has redone the organizational chart to show that the team will no longer be treated like a stepchild to the New Orleans Saints. And the city isn't as bad as the national media would make you think either. (Ok, maybe when it rains and the pumps aren't working).
Anderson went on to say: "One thing that Zion has always been taught: You accept the things that you can’t change, you change the things that you can change. And this is one of the things that he had nothing to do with. It’s the process of the NBA and certainly we’re excited about the Crescent City down there in New Orleans."
If there was an attempt to pump the brakes on the idea of Zion Williamson to the Pelicans with the No. 1 pick, the Duke superstar's stepfather…
So that settled that.
Williamson is coming to New Orleans to breathe life into a team that a year ago this time looked like it was heading in the right direction. The Pelicans had just swept the Portland Trail Blazers (yeah, the same Blazers currently playing in the Western Conference Finals) in the first round of the playoffs.
This year Gentry and the Pelicans watched the playoffs from home, a season that was basically lost from the start when the team's last No. 1 overall pick (Anthony Davis) decided there were 29 other teams he'd rather play for.
It was the team's lack of success with Anthony Davis (two playoff trips in seven seasons) that helped lead to the narrative across the country this week: you can't win in a small market like New Orleans.
But that's simply not the case. (The Milwaukee Bucks, currently in the Eastern Conference finals, had the best record in the NBA this season.)
Can Williamson (or Williamson and Davis if he stays) lead the Pelicans to that type of success? We'll see. Very few lottery picks have led their teams to championships. Since 1985 when the lottery began, only five No. 1 overall picks have led their team to NBA titles: LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, Shaquille O'Neal, Tim Duncan and David Robinson. That doesn't include Andrew Bogut and Glenn Robinson Sr., both No. 1 overall picks who won titles as role players.
The first reaction was euphoria.
Williamson comes in with the same type of hype that LeBron and Shaq did. His name, and the buzz that surrounds it, automatically puts the Pelicans on the NBA's Christmas Day calendar. The Pels will become regulars on TNT and ESPN broadcasts. National media will flood the Smoothie King Center like it's Bourbon Street during Essence Fest.
It'll be up to Williamson to prove his worth, much like LeBron and Shaq did.
Cleveland was 17-65 the season before LeBron was drafted. The Cavs played in the NBA Finals four years later.
Orlando was 21-61 the season before it drafted O'Neal. The Magic played in the NBA Finals in his third season.
Can Williamson have that type of instant impact on the Pelicans?
Time will tell.
Should he listen to the national pundits suggesting he demand to be traded elsewhere?
Should he be willing to give New Orleans a try?
Or in the words of Alvin Gentry...........
New Orleans became the center of the NBA universe on Tuesday night, pulling off an improbable win in the NBA draft lottery to score the top pi…