Zion Williamson has been the most talked about NBA Draft prospect in an extremely long time. Some would say that not since LeBron James has any player received this much attention ahead of the 2019 NBA Draft and that isn’t where the James comparisons end.
Listed at 6’7″ and 285 pounds with an absolutely unreal level of athleticism, Williamson is a physical specimen unlike any other and that translated during his lone season at Duke University where he was named the consensus 2019 National College Player of the Year.
James has been keeping an eye on Williamson as he revealed in his most recent episode of HBO’s “The Shop”:
“I’ve watched him a lot over the last year. Obviously, I was with everybody you know him coming out of high school. I was like OK, all this competition that he’s playing against — these little short-[expletive] white kids he’s dunking over every single time. Can he play? Can he play ball? The one thing that I noticed with his one year at Duke… that his energy was infectious. Every possession, it seemed like he could make a difference on the outcome of the game.”
James admitted to questioning Williamson’s level of competition in high school where his athleticism overwhelmed everyone he went up against. However, the 18-year-old proved he had the skill to go along with his physical gifts and will undoubtedly be the top pick in June, regardless of who wins the 2019 NBA Draft Lottery.
James was also very much impressed with Williamson’s energy, calling it infectious and noting how he was trying to make a difference on every single possession while he was on the floor.
There have been consensus top draft picks in previous seasons, but very few have come in with the fanfare and popularity that Williamson will. He is viewed as a franchise-changing player that will alter the trajectory of the team that ultimately drafts him.
James understands everything that Williamson is going through and will continue to go through in this league which is why he has kept such a close eye on him.