Watching Zion Williamson, Duke’s extraterrestrial 6-foot-8, 285-pound forward, put up 28 points while slicing through the air effortlessly with rim-rocking dunks and breathtaking blocks, brings one to the alter of basketball hyperbole. Comparisons of him in the aftermath of his season-opening performance that led to Duke’s 118-84 blowout of Kentucky were littered across social media.
There was even discussion about his outing that bled out into NBA circles when Wednesday, Warriors coach Steve Kerr seemed like he wanted to liken his talents to James before quickly realizing he did not want to say anything about NCAA athletes.
“I saw some kid on Duke last night who is pretty impressive,” said Kerr. “I probably can’t say anything more … I thought LeBron, I thought that was a one shot deal, but apparently the next guy’s coming. Before I get fined, I’m going to change the subject.”
Williamson was outdueled by his own teammate, RJ Barrett, who scored 33 points in the Blue Devils’ statement win. But his combination of athleticism, skill and freakish talent was undeniably the most impressive part of the evening.
“I’ve never seen anyone like Zion,” teammate Javin DeLaurier told The News & Observer before Duke’s season-opener. “I think one of our athletic trainers put it the best. He said all you guys hit the genetic lottery but Zion hit it twice.”
Zion was ranked as the No. 5 overall prospect in the 2018 recruiting class according to 247Sports and in the running to be the top pick in next year’s NBA Draft.
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