In his brief NBA career, Zion Williamson has quickly proved to be worth all the hype as he’s become one of the star actions in the league. The New Orleans Pelicans forward has put forth some historical production in his rookie campaign behind some highlight reel-type play that has pushed him toward a promising career. It has also helped lift him to something that Los Angeles Lakers star forward LeBron James never achieved.
Zion Williamson’s rookie year
It hasn’t taken Zion Williamson much time to showcase that the hype is real around his play on the court.
In 19 games played this season, he’s averaging 23.6 points and 6.8 rebounds while shooting 58.9% from the floor and 46.2% from beyond the arc. That has seen him make NBA history along the way as he joined Hall of Famers Shaquille O’Neal and Grant Hill as the only players with seven 20-point outings in their first 10 games career games over the last 30 seasons.
Williamson also sits alongside O’Neal and Allen Iverson as the third rookie over that span to notch at least 200 points over that stretch of career games played. However, he just achieved something that LeBron James never did that early in his career.
Zion Williamson just achieved something LeBron James never did
Zion Williamson has set the league ablaze with his play on the court, which has already made him a fan favorite.
All that has landed him an extraordinary opportunity to be one of the three players that will grace NBA 2K21 cover that has already revealed that Portland Trail Blazers All-Star point guard Damian Lillard will hold one of those spots. It puts another incredible achievement on Williamson’s impressive resume that he voiced to ESPN that he said is a dream come true.
“It’s one of those emotions I’m still processing,” Williamson told The Undefeated’s Marc J. Spears in a video interview. “It’s a dream come true. At those AAU tournaments, you’re looking at the cover thinking, ‘That’s gonna be me.’ For it to happen that fast, it’s a huge honor.”
It’s an honor that LeBron James didn’t receive until the 2K14 edition of the game, where he was still a member of the Miami Heat. The fact that he received that privilege to be on the cover this early in his career only speaks to how highly he’s held this early in his career.
That isn’t a shot at James, but rather further underlines the promising future he has in the NBA.
Zion Williamson’s promising future
The opportunity to grace the cover of NBA 2k puts a greater spotlight on Zion Williamson’s career.
The Pelicans are hoping to build around him as one of their primary pieces of the puzzle alongside Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, and Josh Hart. Williamson can truly blossom into a legitimate star with multiple All-Star appearances and potentially much more as he continues to develop.
The only lingering concerning at this point is his health as he has already gone through one significant surgery in his NBA career. The Pelicans have continued to operate cautiously to avoid any setback, which was on display they didn’t rush him back from his knee injury. There is also much importance on him maintaining his weight as that could factor into his long-term health and durability.
If he can stay healthy, there is no reason to believe he can’t continue his impressive ascension to stardom and possibly tremendous success.