Giannis Antetokounmpo has brought a title to Milwaukee, which should give fans of the Pelicans hope that the same can happen with Zion Williamson in the Big Easy.
After getting close last season but coming up short, Giannis was able to get over the hump and has now cemented himself as an All-Time great, especially after dropping 50 points in the deciding game.
Giannis and Zion Williamson have plenty in common, as both are athletic bigs who do most of the ball-handling for their respective teams. The biggest difference is that Giannis is also an all-world defender, and Zion is not there yet.
They also both play for small-market teams, two of the smallest in the NBA, which is one of the reasons the Bucks’ title should give Pelicans’ fans some hope.
Pelicans: Small-market teams can win a title with a superstar
One of the best parts of Milwaukee winning the championship is that they are a small-market team with little free agent appeal.
Milwaukee is not exactly a hub for big name companies or endorsement possibilities, yet they were able to keep their superstar and build around him when many thought he would flee for greener pastures.
Giannis has shown Zion Williamson that you can win MVP awards, get big shoe deals (which Zion already has) and win titles without going to one of the coasts, which should be a selling point when the Pelicans are trying to re-sign him for the long term.
This title means more for Giannis because he did it on the team that drafted him and without going off to join a super team. Historically speaking, Giannis is going to get more accolades than someone like Kevin Durant.
Pelicans: Players will come to a team with Zion Williamson, just like they have for Giannis
The Bucks made most of their key offseason additions through trades, but were also able to get key role players like Brook Lopez to take less money to come play with a superstar.
Players recognize when they are watching a generational talent, and those who want to win titles will gravitate towards the superstars that can get them there.
With Zion Williamson, the Pelicans have one of those stars, so they need to have faith that some players will take on lesser money or lesser roles to play with him, which will allow the Pels to build a team around Zion like the Milwaukee did with Giannis.
The Pelicans are one of the smallest markets in the NBA, but they have their superstar and Giannis just showed that is the first step towards winning a title without being in a huge market.