New Orleans Pelicans rookie phenom Zion Williamson not only watched all-time great players growing up, he hopes one day to become one himself.
The New Orleans Pelicans know they have a star in the making in Zion Williamson. What impresses them more is how much greater he wants to become. At only 19 years of age the former Duke Blue Devil and internet sensation has taken the basketball world by storm in just 10 games of his NBA career.
He has drawn comparisons to LeBron James, Charles Barkley, and even Shaquille O’Neal. Others such as Carmelo Anthony admitted Zion has no comparable player in NBA history due to his unique skill set and raw athleticism at his size. After a 138-117 Pelicans win last week against the Portland TrailBlazers, Carmelo Anthony was quoted as saying, ” I don’t really think he’s comparable to anyone that I have seen. Someone who is as powerful as that, who jumps like that.”
Admittedly, there have been an abundance of talented NBA players throughout history. However, the dedication, passion, and work ethic coupled with the God-given talent is what separates the good players from the greats. Zion Williamson wants to be great.
In his first (of many) all-star weekends, Zion was asked who he watched growing up that helped influence his game. He revealed his Mom was the one who suggested 3 of the NBA’s all-time greatest players:
“It was my mom that lead me to watch Michael Jordan and the Bulls. I asked her when I first started playing basketball, who should I go watch, and she told me Jordan, Bird, and Magic. I think I started with Magic and I was like man he can pass the ball. Bird can shoot, and he is an all-around player.”
Zion didn’t stop there as he later revealed how serious he took his basketball research:
“When I got to Jordan, she told me to watch full games and not highlights, so I watched full games. As a kid, the stuff he was doing; it was incredible to watch. Getting a steal, saving it, and throwing a backward layup floating through the lane, through three people dunking it. As a kid, that really caught my attention, and then I just watched every full game of Michael Jordan that I could find.”
This isn’t the first time Zion has revealed this to the world. Back in 2018 he shared similar sentiments:
Being that Zion was born in 2000, he never lived through Magic’s Los Angeles Lakers and Bird’s Boston Celtics owning the 1980’s. He never got to witness first hand the domination of MJ’s Chicago Bulls throughout the 1990’s. He’s even too young to remember Shaq and Kobe Bryant‘s three-peat to start off the new century. But you can tell he’s gone back and watched these great players and taken a little something from each of their games.
They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. In 10 games of Zion’s young NBA career not only have you seen flashes of other great players, but flashes of his own greatness. Who knows, maybe 30 years from now we’ll hear a kid say my Mom made me watch Zion Williamson tapes to study one of the greats.