I remember in 2016 going to the Chik-Fil-A Classic in my hometown of Columbia, South Carolina. Each year the classic is played at my alma mater, Richland Northeast high school. This tournament was known for the nation’s top talent to come together and compete.
Spartanburg Day School came from Spartanburg, South Carolina, just over an hour and a half up the road from Columbia. A straight shot down I-26.
But who would have known we would see an unworldly talent by the name of Zion Williamson.
As Kevin Hart once said, we weren’t ready.
Williamson scored 53 points in one contest, shocking the crowd with his speed, power, and strength. Zion was unlike any other athlete on the floor: he was The One.
He was The One then, and he’s on his way to becoming the one in the NBA now.
As a teenager, Zion has already proven that he will be a force in the NBA. With a small sample size of games played, Zion helped parlay the New Orleans Pelicans into playoff contenders. When the restart happens later this month, the Pelicans will be able to either clinch the 8th seed or be in a play-in game as a 9th seed.
While many have stated that the reason the NBA invited only 22 teams was due to the Zion-factor, I have news for you: Adam Silver is a smart man if it is. In short: it should have been Zion-influenced.
Just as the crowd found out about the power of Zion in Columbia, Zion is must-see TV. Every time you see Zion plotting around the hoop, it’s impossible not to think an Alley-Oop is coming. A fastbreak with Zion and whoever has the ball is a powerful dunk waiting to happen.
In the halfcourt, defenders willingly move out of his way, coming into the lane. Defenders would do this in high school, college, and even in the NBA. Zion to basketball is what Reggie Bush was to college football. When they come on, you expect spectacular.
With talent such as Williamson, you do not want to let a grand opportunity to slip by. While the Golden State Warriors and the Toronto Raptors were great TV, but how fun was the NBA Playoffs without LeBron? And this season, how was fun was it without the Splash Brothers? It wasn’t.
Of course, injuries derailed LeBron, Steph Curry, and Klay Thompson. But Zion is fully healthy according to reports. Give him a chance to power the Pelicans into the postseason. Who is going to miss an opportunity to see LeBron versus Zion in the first round?
So, here is to Zion, hopefully getting an opportunity to play in the postseason. And salute to Adam Silver for having the instincts to give Zion the opportunity. With everything going on, and things not appearing to get better, we need the NBA to bring us some hope. Hopefully, Zion and company can give us the excitement needed to get through these tough times.
Just picture Zion throwing down a thunderous tip-slam. Yep, I can see it as clear as day.