Although Zion Williamson may have been the victim of a costly non-call in the New Orleans Pelicans' 114-112 loss to the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday, the phenom believes he'll receive more foul calls as he builds his NBA resume.
"I gotta earn my respect. I'm only in Year 2," Williamson said, according to ESPN's Andrew Lopez. "Gotta get a couple more years under my belt and, hopefully, things change with that."
After the game, the NBA's last-two-minute report indicated a shooting foul was missed on Williamson's dunk attempt.
"Obviously, all of us thought it was a foul, but the referee saw something different," Brandon Ingram said. "At the end of the day, we have to go with what the referee says."
Although Williamson ranks in the top five in the Association in free-throw attempts (491) and free-throw attempts per game (8.61), Pelicans head coach Stan Van Gundy believes the All-Star forward should be heading to the charity stripe with even more regularity.
"He gets to the free-throw line a lot, and I've had referees say to me, 'How many free throws has he shot?' and it's a stupid question," Van Gundy said. "It doesn't matter. Call it every single time he gets fouled. That's all your job is.
"It's not a matter of, 'Oh, he shot eight free throws,' or, 'Oh, he shot 10 free throws.' Some nights he should shoot 20. So, call it."
The Pelicans (27-35) now sit four games behind the 10th-seeded Golden State Warriors (31-31) for the Western Conference's final play-in spot.