Ever since the lottery balls turned up the extremely fortunate combination, we knew what was coming next. You better believe Alvin Gentry did as gauged by his immediate reaction to the news. Same with the Pelicans sales and marketing team.
Popular belief and analytics alike have Zion earmarked for stardom. Many feel he is the best prospect to enter the league since LeBron James. He has dominated the competition at every level, blending the most unique mix of athleticism, size, IQ, instinct, mentality and humbleness.
“Zion’s incredibly unique,” said Mike Krzyzewski recently on Sirius XM NBA Radio. “Not just as a player but as a young man. He’s still only 18 years old. And as good of an athlete - he’s a top percentile athlete in the world, not just in the game of basketball - he’s that level of young man. He gets it. I enjoyed every day with that kid. And he’s improved, he’s going to be a star in the league. Everyone talks about his jumping and his dunking, but he’s very smart and his lateral quickness is phenomenal. Not good, phenomenal. And his ball handling, it’s hard to think of him small, but when he was smaller he was a point guard. So he has an incredible skill set and talent set that’ll set him apart.”
“He’s improved so much this past year,” Krzyzewski continued. “And what he’ll do for the community - unless, you know, something is really crazy in this world, he’ll be in New Orleans - for that community, he’ll reach out. He’s an amazing people person and humble. He’s just so humble. I love him. I love him as a player and as a young man. I’d take him any day of the week.”
We’ll have plenty more reaction in coming days, but sit back and enjoy the rest of this draft for now. David Griffin might have another wonderful surprise or two in store for us!