Since entering the league, New Orleans Pelicans rookie big man Zion Williamson has drawn plenty of attention and hype. His return to the floor turned that up a notch, with many of his opposing voicing high praise towards him. That was no different on Tuesday night’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers as four-time league MVP LeBron James spewed some high praise about Williamson. However, there was a surprising detail unveiled as James stated that he has never spoken to the Pelicans’ promising rookie.
Zion Williamson, LeBron James show out
For the first time in their respective career, James and Williamson faced off against each, and it saw the stars come to play on Tuesday night.
The Lakers All-Star put up a strong outing with a season-high 40 points along with eight rebounds and six assists that included knocking down five 3-pointers. James stepped throughout the entire game with a variation of made shots highlighted by several impressive dunks that proved to be the difference in the contest. His outing also put him alongside Kareem-Abdul Jabbar, Elgin Baylor & Kobe Bryant as the only Lakers with a 40-point game after turning 35.
Meanwhile, Williamson once again showed that the moment wasn’t too big for him as he recorded 29 points on 8-of-18 shooting from the floor while knocking down 13-of-19 free-throw attempts along with six rebounds. He played reasonably well on both ends of the floor against star forward Anthony Davis while staying a significant factor in the paint.
James and Williamson didn’t truly guard each other outside of a dunk transition from the latter and a stepback 3-pointer from the former. It didn’t take away from what was an entertaining matchup between the present and future in the NBA.
LeBron James has never spoken to Zion Williamson
Following the game, James spoke quietly glowingly of Williamson’s talent on the floor with the belief that he fits perfectly in the Pelicans’ up-tempo offense.
The rookie big man also had much high praise to voiced towards the Lakers’ star forward by stating he doesn’t get the respect that he deserves. However, there was an interesting detail to emerge as the two confirmed they haven’t spoken to each other yet, according to Ryan Ward of ClutchPoints.
“Nah, I have not had a chance to talk to LeBron,” Zion said. “It was my second time at Staples, but my first time playing. It’s a nice arena.”
That is quite an intriguing situation as James has taken pride over the last several years of his career of taking some of the young promising talent under his wing. What makes this more head-scratching is that the 35-year-old sought out Memphis Grizzlies promising rookie point guard Ja Morant following their matchup this past weekend.
It’s not something that should draw any negative headlines, but, interestingly, the two have a lack of a personal relationship despite the strong mutual respect.
Zion Williamson could learn plenty from LeBron James
Although these two have yet to talk or build a personal bond off the court, it’s not something that won’t change moving forward.
Like James, Williamson has entered the NBA with plenty of hype around him that has brought forth some tremendous expectations. Yes, things were a bit different for the Lakers’ star forward but there is much that the Duke product could learn from cultivating a relationship with the future Hall of Famer.
It’s just somewhat shocking that these two haven’t at least been in touch off the court in any capacity. The NBA is a brotherhood, which there could be plenty of opportunities ahead for Williamson and James to talk and build a mentorship type of relationship.