Zion Williamson is coming out of the NBA's hiatus looking like he's in peak physical condition, but the New Orleans Pelicans star says the challenge of playing in the Orlando bubble will come down to mental toughness.
"I'm preparing myself by bonding with my teammates again, talking to them, saying, 'We're going to get through this,'" the rookie said Thursday.
"I think this team can be really special when we're all healthy," Williamson added. "Just a matter of us coming together, fighting those mental battles being in the bubble, and honestly coming together. I feel like if we can come together and fight the battles together, I believe we can be something really special."
The Pelicans are one of 22 teams expected to arrive in Florida by the end of next week. New Orleans was in a virtual tie for ninth in the Western Conference before play was halted and sits three-and-a-half games out of the final playoff spot.
Williamson was photographed this week in a gym looking more defined in the shoulders than he had been earlier this season. He credits that to working out with his stepfather during the hiatus.
"Me and my stepdad just found different ways to stay in condition - on-court, off-court, just wherever we could find it," he said. "I feel like I am in good shape right now."