Beyond the Arc

by Ben Fiore

 

Zion Williamson is one of the most polarizing young athletes in the history of sports.  The hype around this kid since he was in MIDDLE SCHOOL swept the country off our feet.  He is easily one of the most talked about high school stars in the same talks as LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and others.  This kid would have gone to the NBA straight out of high school if rules today didn’t prohibit that.  Since this kid was 14, we’ve been waiting for him to hit the NBA.  His size, power and athletic ability are bound for greatness.  Not to mention he seems to be a good kid with his head on straight.  But after his historic freshman season at Duke, we are all wondering what is he going to do now?

In his 33 games at Duke, he averaged 22.6 PPG, 8.9 RPG and 2.1 APG with a 68% shooting percentage.  Those are crazy digits for a freshman.  Though Duke fell in the Elite 8 to Michigan State, no one can knock Zion for his groundbreaking performances this season.  The talent this kid has is unmatched by any player in the NCAA.  JA Morant is compared to him for dunking ability, but Zion is more than a dunker.  His size, blocking, defense, lay-up package and obviously dunking is unheard of for a teenager. Check out his Duke highlights below.

As you can tell, this guy WILL be a problem for any competition he faces.  The dilemma is that there is a lot of controversy whether he is going to enter the NBA draft this year or not.  As a basketball fan, I’m thinking “what’s the hold up?”, but it’s not our decision to make.  Logically if I were him, I’d want that NBA paycheck, play with the best talent in the world and land a huge shoe deal that he’s clearly going to get.  Zion has said he is thinking about returning to Duke to win a national championship.  I get that after a disappointing loss in the tournament, but the cons outweigh the pros with going back.  His teammate RJ Barret has eluded to the fact that he will probably declare for the draft, so will Zion follow?  I hope so.  He is easily the #1 pick of any and every team in the NBA.  He’s already being referred to as one of the best players on the planet, and hasn’t even hit the league yet.  The way this kid handles that pressure is unbelievable.  The effect he is having on the sport as a whole is monumental and the NBA NEEDS him.  Imagine the match ups of LeBron or Giannis and Zion, or countless other players.  I know we are obviously going to see it eventually, but as Veruca Salt once said, “give it to me, noooooow”.

Zion has an immensely important decision on his hands. Even though he’s going to the league no matter what at some point, it would be more beneficial to start that journey now.  He already sustained a scary injury this year, what if it happens again and worse?  If that’s going to happen, I’d rather have that happen when I’m getting paid.  He is at such an athletic peak, that he needs to take advantage of it as long as possible in the NBA.  I understand the love for your school, but ultimately I think he’s going to look at the bigger picture and head to the league.  And if that’s the case, I CANNOT WAIT LET’S GOOOOOO!!!

 

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Written by benfiore

NBA writer of Beyond the Arc. Part of Thoughts From the Bench.

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