Zion Williamson's Pelicans Debut vs. Spurs Flexed to Prime-Time Spot on ESPN

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJanuary 17, 2020

DETROIT, MI - JANUARY 13: Zion Williamson #1 of the New Orleans Pelicans smiles during warm ups before the game against the Detroit Pistons on January 13, 2020 at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Michigan. 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 Brian Sevald/NBAE via Getty Images)
Brian Sevald/Getty Images

Zion Williamson's NBA debut against the San Antonio Spurs will take place on national television. 

Per Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press, Wednesday's game between the visiting Spurs and New Orleans Pelicans has been picked up by ESPN, with tipoff at 9:30 p.m. ET. 

When the NBA unveiled the regular-season schedule for all 30 teams in August, the Pelicans received 30 nationally televised prime-time games, including on opening night against the Toronto Raptors and Christmas Day against the Denver Nuggets.

Williamson's arrival was likely a significant driving force behind the decision to showcase New Orleans so much. The 19-year-old was a phenomenon in his lone season at Duke and became the most-hyped draft prospect since LeBron James in 2003. 

On the eve of the Oct. 22 season opener, the Pelicans announced Williamson had surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee. 

David Griffin, New Orleans executive vice president of basketball operations, told reporters that Williamson is expected to make his professional debut Wednesday

Adding Williamson at this point in the season could be a significant boost to a team in the midst of a recent hot streak. The team started slowly with a 6-22 record, but the Pelicans have rebounded with 10 wins in their past 14 games to get within 3.5 games of the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference playoff race. 

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