He is no longer a teenager, but that’s okay because he hasn’t felt like one in quite some time.
“My birthday, I don’t really see it as a special day, to be honest,” Zion Williamson said to media on a Zoom conference call last week. “It’s just another day for me. But I just thank God that I’m hopefully able to make it to 20. But it’s weird (to not be a teenager anymore), but in a weird way I haven’t felt like a teenager in a long time, so I feel like it’s not going to be anything different.”
Williamson is turning 20 years old today, and so rather appropriately, he can put a bow on being 19 with his 19 glorious professional games.
Today is Zion Williamson's 20th birthday.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) July 6, 2020
Zion was averaging 23.6 points on 59% shooting this season prior to the stoppage of play.
The only other rookie to ever average 20 PPG on 55% shooting is Shaquille O’Neal in 1992-93 season. pic.twitter.com/C1dV1QrCej
It’s a small sample size for sure, but future greatness feels inevitable. Yes, Zion’s numbers and eye test were that impressive despite the limited minutes and deserve all the fanfare.
Although eight “seeding” games in Orlando’s restart remain to wrap up the 2019-20 regular season, Williamson is likely to finish atop the NBA teenage record books in scoring, and in the top 10 in field goal percentage and rebounding. Have a look at how Zion currently compares with the next four highest scoring teenagers and five other prestigious names.
(Note: data is from Basketball Reference and all listed players were in their age-19 season.)
|Player||Minutes per game||Points per game||Rebounds per game||Assists per game||Field goal percentage|
Zion sits ahead of Luka Doncic, Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James, Kevin Durant and a slew of others. Not much else needs to be added, but who doesn’t love a good highlight or two when detailing the explosiveness, power and quickness of Zion?
Zion Williamson has already accomplished a number of special things, from the standpoints of both as a basketball player and human being, but for his sake, let’s also remember to keep some perspective. Zion’s turning just 20 today. He’s still really at the starting line of what is hopefully a long and wonderful career and an even better life.