In his brief time since making his official debut this season, New Orleans Pelicans rookie big man Zion Williamson has proven to be the real deal on the court. Williamson‘s stellar play in his first several games has caught the attention of many of his peers around the league to voice a great deal of praise in his direction. The latest has been star forward Carmelo Anthony, who may have given the 19-year-old the most meaningful compliment of them all.
Zion Williamson’s strong start
Through his first nine career games, Williamson has proven to be well worth hype behind his impressive play on the court.
He is currently averaging 21.0 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 2.3 assists while shooting 57.6% from the floor and 40.0% from beyond the arc in 27.0 minutes per contest. Williamson’s production has been impacted a bit by the limited minutes he has received on the floor but has continued to put tremendous numbers.
Williamson has scored at least 20 points seven times while posting a pair of double-doubles over that span. He is just the third player with that many 20-point outings in their first 10 career games joining Hall of Famers Grant Hill and Shaquille O’Neal.
He also became the first rookie since Dikembe Mutombo to notch at least 14 points in each of his first nine games while the last three before him were Mutombo, Patrick Ewing, and Michael Jordan. That was capped by him becoming the first rookie since the 1976-77 NBA-ABA merger to tally 30 points, five rebounds, and five assists in 30 or fewer minutes in a game.
If there was any doubt that Williamson has superstar-like talent, his production, and electrifying play on the floor has quickly silenced any of those doubts.
Carmelo Anthony’s compliment to Zion Williamson
Over the last several months, there have been many comparisons for Williamson to former stars in the NBA. That has ranged all over the place from Hall of Famer Charles Barkley to Blake Griffin.
Williamson’s unique physical gifts, along with impressive performance on the court, it’s been challenging to pinpoint the player he’s most like truly. According to Rod Walker of NOLA.com, Anthony doesn’t believe that there has ever been a player in the NBA like the Pelicans’ rookie big man.
The package of player that Williamson is hard to nail down as he has incredible athleticism along with a tremendous amount of strength and an excellent feel for the game. The fact that he’s making this type of impact this early in his career speaks to his promising talent.
Williamson is only touching the surface on the player he can become down the line in his career.
Zion Williamson’s bright future ahead
These comments from players like Anthony shows the tremendous amount of potential that Williamson has to become a superstar in the league for years to come.
He has excelled from the get-go, which should see his game expand and improve the more time he gets under his belt in the NBA. However, there are concerns about his health as he’s a bit heavier than most hoped he would be.
Williamson will have a chance to condition his body better and prepare himself for the physical rigors that come with playing in the NBA. A significant part of that will focus on making sure he’s playing at the weight that is most beneficial to him for the long haul of his career. That is crucial to helping him avoid any lingering injuries along the way.
If he can buckle down in that regard, the sky is undoubtedly the limit for him to become one of the top players in the league.