Jim Quist @ACCTheQ –
In a recent article, Jeff Duncan, a sports columnist for NOLA.com and The Time-Picayune succinctly captured the excitement in New Orleans. He did so with three words. Zion is coming. Want to know what impact that statement has on a team and a community? Be sure to read Jeff’s column (link below).
In case you missed the news we’ll get you up to speed on the New Orleans Pelicans. The team has been short on luck lately. Think, “if it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all”. The Pelicans had four ping-pong balls go their way at the NBA Draft Lottery. And? And?
On June 20 at the NBA Draft, New Orleans gets to pick first. That means the Pelicans will select Duke’s Zion Williamson. That my friends, that’s a game changer for an organization trying to pick itself up and start anew.
It’s already being call ‘The Zion Effect’ and as Duncan points out in his column, even every day New Orleanians’ were excited. Duncan points out that the last time the city buzzed this way about basketball was in 1974 when Pistol Pete (Maravich) came to town.
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Those are some big shoes to fill. Williamson has what it takes to light a fire in a franchise and among fans. His short stint in the ACC generated what many would call an overabundance of buzz on ESPN. Even the conference fell hard on the hype train as video highlights seemed to be dominated by dunks by Zion.
The reality is Zion Williamson is all that and a bag of chips. Williamson is the only freshman to win both the conference Player of the Year and Tournament MVP honors. His stats speak volumes about what’s to come for Pelican fans.
One (incomplete) year and Williamson delivered 500 points, 50 steals and 50 blocked shots for Duke. He’s but the third freshman in college basketball to record those numbers. He joins Anthony Davis and Kevin Durant in that elite club.
Speaking of Davis, in January he requested a trade from New Orleans. Things have changed dramatically with the team’s operations since that time and the addition of Williamson may help sway Davis back into the fold.
Imagine that scoring duo being unleashed on the NBA.
Jim Quist is Managing Editor of ACC Nation, a member of FWAA (Football Writers Association of America) and ACSMA (Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association). He is enrolled in the Beer Brewer Professional Certificate program at the University of Richmond. Follow him on Twitter @ACCTheQ.
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