Even the NBA took notice of Duke’s 118-84 dismantling of lottery pipeline Kentucky.
In that game Tuesday night, Blue Devils freshman Zion Williamson scored 28 points on an eye-popping array of athletic moves punctuated by dunks, complemented by defensive blocks at the other end.
On Wednesday, the topic came up with Warriors coach Steve Kerr, who without identifying Williamson by name appeared to liken him to LeBron James … before catching himself.
“I saw some kid on Duke last night who is pretty impressive,” Kerr told reporters (via The Athletic). “I probably can’t say anything more … I thought LeBron, I thought that was a one-shot deal, but apparently the next guy’s coming. Before I get fined, I’m going to change the subject.”
Steve Kerr amazed by Zion Williamson last night: “LeBron, I thought that was a one shot deal…” and then realizes he can’t say anything: “Adam, wherever you are, please don’t fine me.” pic.twitter.com/dkmrOG1JcJ
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) November 7, 2018
Kerr jokingly referenced NBA commissioner Adam Silver when trying to put the basketball genie back in the bottle: “Adam, wherever you are, please don’t fine me.”
The analogy is apt, however. The 6-8 Williamson’s combination of talent, skill and freakish athleticism (he had to duck on a dunk to not bump his head!) are reminiscent of a young James — though Williamson’s skill set might be unique.
“I’ve never seen anyone like Zion,” teammate Javin DeLaurier told The News & Observer before Duke’s opener. “I think one of our athletic trainers put it the best. He said, ‘All you guys hit the genetic lottery, but Zion hit it twice.'”
— Duke Basketball (@DukeMBB) November 8, 2018