Zion pledges to cover Pelicans' arena staff salaries for next 30 days
Layne Murdoch Jr. / National Basketball Association / Getty

New Orleans Pelicans rookie Zion Williamson is pledging to cover the wages of the team's arena staff during the next 30 days of the NBA season disruption.

"The people of New Orleans have been incredibly welcoming and supportive since I was drafted by the Pels last June, and some of the most special people I have met are those who work at Smoothie King Center," Williamson wrote in an Instagram post. "These are the folks who make our games possible, creating the perfect environment for our fans and everyone involved in the organization.

"Unfortunately, many of them are still recovering from long-term challenges created by Katrina, and now face the economic impact of the postponement of games because of the virus. My mother has always set an example for me about being respectful for others and being grateful for what we have, and so today I am pledging to cover the salaries for all of those Smoothie King Center workers for the next 30 days."

Shortly after Williamson's statement, the Pelicans issued their own release, thanking the rookie and further addressing the situation surrounding arena staff.

On Thursday, NBA commissioner Adam Silver said the hiatus would most likely last "at least 30 days."

Williamson hopes his contribution will help New Orleans through the rough patch ahead.

"This is a small way for me to express my support and appreciation for these wonderful people who have been so great to me and my teammates and hopefully we can all join together to relieve some of the stress and hardship caused by this national health crisis," Williamson added.

After knee surgery delayed his NBA debut, Williamson set the league ablaze upon his long-awaited arrival on Jan. 22. Through his first 19 appearances, the 2019 first overall pick averaged 23.6 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 2.2 assists per game, all while shooting 46.2% on 3-pointers and 58.9% from the field.

Largely due to Williamson's midseason addition to the lineup, the Pelicans fought their way to a 28-36 record - just 3.5 games behind the Western Conference's eighth-seeded Memphis Grizzlies - before the NBA season was suspended on Wednesday.

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Zion pledges to cover Pelicans' arena staff salaries for next 30 days
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