NEW ORLEANS—Delivering the news that he will owe the hospital $15,000 for his torn meniscus, Pelicans HR informed Zion Williamson Wednesday that knee surgery is not covered by insurance until 90 days into his first season. “We know it’s frustrating and probably not what he wants to hear right now, but we’ve got to protect ourselves from anyone trying to join the NBA just for health coverage and then immediately quitting,” said compensation and benefits manager Rob Pluthe, noting that Williamson should have been more careful on the court during the six-month transitional period where he would have no medical coverage. “This is just standard practice; we have to keep costs down, so we can’t go paying for surgeries after someone has been a Pelican for less than a year. He’ll also be docked pay for all the time he’s missing with physical therapy.” Pluthe added that Williamson should be careful even after his insurance kicks in, as their provider does not consider knees to be essential body parts.
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