Freeman Cebu Sports

Where’s Zion?

NBA BUZZ - Bobby Motus - The Freeman

Selected by the New Orleans Pelicans during the 2019 NBA Draft as their first overall pick, Zion Williamson, despite missing the first three months of the season due to injury, lived up to the hype surrounding him.

He made league history by becoming the first teenager to score at least 20 points in 10 consecutive games and was the first rookie since Michael Jordan to have 16 20-point games within their first 20 games.  Zion was named to the All-Rookie First Team and was selected to the All-Star Game the following season.

Prior to the start of the 2021-2022 season, Zion fractured his foot and underwent surgery.  Recovery was slow that up to now, he’s still not cleared for any activity.   Reports have it that he might require a second surgery. 

His first three years in the league had been hassled by injuries and has only played a total of 85 games.  Zion’s game reminds us of two dominant players of years past - Charles Barkley and Larry Johnson.  Both were power forwards that were a bit undersized but made up for it with their athleticism and by throwing their bodies around guys much bigger than them.

Barkley retired from the game after 16 seasons.  Injuries slowed down Johnson but still, he lasted 10 seasons in the league.

Aside from Zion’s injury, his weight had also become a cause for concern for the Pelicans.  Listed at 6-6, he could be weighing more than 330 pounds basing on recent photographs.  

Former NOP coach Stan Van Gundy said, “He is a tremendous talent and one of the most exciting players in the league.  But keep things in perspective.  He has played almost three times as many as Embiid in his first three years.”

Joel  Embiid only played 31 games in his first three seasons, entirely missing the first two.  Recovering well, he had become the face of the Philadelphia 76ers and was selected to the All-Star Games 5 times.

Let’s not give up hope on Zion.  He’s only 21-years old and he still has to unlock his hidden potentials.   Yes, with the help of new teammate CJ McCollum who hqd adjusted well with a 7 game average of 28 points.


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