Why Zion Williamson Is Living Up To The Hype (and more)
By Kriel Ibarrola
There have been plenty of sensational talent that has set foot in the NBA over the last few years. The likes of Luka Doncic, Ja Morant, and LaMelo Ball, just to name of few.
Still, no one ever comes close to the type of hype that Zion Williamson has generated since the New Orleans Pelicans selected him first overall in 2019.
After all, the 20-year-old supreme athlete has been in the public as early as his formative high school years in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Even then, it was evident that Williamson was special.
He looked like a man among boys since Day 1, where he often dwarfed his counterparts. His physical tools were indeed one of a kind, as he was always a step faster and immensely stronger than the average high school player.
To sum it up, Williamson is a freak of nature. No man that size and weight should be that agile, let alone be able to glide through the air like he does.
Williamson does look more like an NFL line-backer than an NBA forward.
Both fans and skeptics tuned in when he began his collegiate career in Duke University. Everyone wanted to see if Williamson was indeed the real deal. How will he fare against top level competition in the next stage?
Williamson, of course, passed that test with flying colors. Not only did he serve us highlight after highlight, but he certainly showed strides of being a complete two-way player.
His one-and-done career as a Blue Devil was so phenomenal that he literally blew off his own shoe. Woah.
It took a while before we saw him in action in the NBA. Zion teased us with a terrific showing in the preseason of his rookie year, only to get sidelined by injury before his career officially began.
Again, there were concerns if he can handle the 82-game season grind.
But once Williamson got back to 100 percent, he once again silenced the critics. Turns out, the Duke alum was not just a walking dunk machine. His athleticism also translated on D, while his high basketball IQ endeared him right away in NOLA.
Following an impressive rookie season, Zion blossomed into a legitimate All-Star in just his second year. In 61 games, Williamson notched 27.0 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 3.7 assists, while shooting 61.1 percent form the field.
Too bad his season was once again cut short by injury, and he’ll likely sit out until next year since the Pelicans are eliminated from playoff contention anyway.
Make no mistake about it, Zion Williamson has arrived and he’ll be a dominating force around the league for many years to come.