Lakers News: LeBron James Calls Pelicans’ Zion Williamson A ‘Generational’ Player
Zion Williamson, LeBron James, Lakers, Pelicans
Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday night in the Play-In Tournament to secure the No. 7 seed, and while L.A. was in control for much of the game, the Pelicans made it interesting behind an incredible night from Zion Williamson. The former No. 1 pick shined in a battle against two former No. 1 picks in LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

Williamson finished with 40 points and 11 rebounds on 17-for-27 from the field. He carried the Pelicans through the night and to only a four-point loss, as he was the only New Orleans player to score more than 12 points. The Lakers had five players surpass the 12-point mark, their entire starting lineup.

The performance caught James’ attention as he has been impressed with Williamson since the two began their back and forth battles during the former Duke star’s rookie campaign, via Spectrum SportsNet:

“He’s gonna be great for a long time. Obviously he had a slow start to the season this year but he’s a generational player, a generational talent and he’s gonna continue to get better and better and better and tonight was just a small microcosm of how great he can be. His ability to get downhill, finish versus smalls, finish versus bigs, taller guys, shorter guys, it doesn’t matter. The thing about him is he’s not afraid to compete so that’s a great thing. He’s a star.”

Williamson found a real rhythm toward the end of the 2023-24 regular season, and he is hopeful his team can earn postseason spot with a win against the Sacramento Kings in the win or go home round of the Play-In Tournament. Unfortunately though, Williamson hurt his hamstring towards the end of the game against the Lakers and has been ruled out for the Kings game.

But when he is healthy, Williamson has proven himself to be worth every bit of the hype that was placed on him when he was selected No. 1 overall in the 2019 NBA Draft. James recognizes this and was happy to give him that praise after a hard-fought victory.

LeBron James feels better entering postseason this year

In the final stretch of the season, James was outstanding, averaging 27.7 points, 8.2 rebounds and 9.8 assists in the last 10 games while shooting 61.4% from the field and 45.5% from 3-point range.

In a season where some wondered if James would be able to hold up for the whole year, he appeared in 71 games and is likely to make yet another All-NBA team.

But most importantly for both James and the Lakers, he is feeling much better going into the postseason than he did at this time last year and is proud that he was able to stay healthy all year long.

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