Zion Williamson has become synonymous with thunderous dunks that fans and bashers think are what he’s best at and the only thing he’s good at. Here, the 4-year veteran showed maturity beyond his age when handling criticisms.
I don’t have to explain myself
The best thing to do is to let the game do all the talking. Zion’s response when asked by a reporter if he was aware that a fan claimed all he could do was dunk when attempting a free throw showed he was wiser than many players older than him.
Williamson reasoned that it was part of the game and didn’t affect him at all. He also sent a message to those who were criticizing him.
“Anybody that knows basketball, actually watches basketball, I don’t even have to explain myself on that day. They know what I do.”
This is how players today should react to silly comments from fans: take it with a grain of salt and improve facets of their game they believe need improvement. Zion didn’t play last season, and casual fans who just tuned in to see him play probably weren’t aware of other things he could do on the floor.
Here’s good news for the New Orleans Pelicans fans: the former Duke Blue Devil has improved his numbers since his rookie year. Williamson increased his block average, assists, and free throw percentage this season, and the season has just started. If he keeps focused and injury-free this year, there’s little doubt Zion could finally become the player experts touted him to become when he entered the NBA.
Against the L.A. Clippers, the power forward returned from a hip injury and displayed a more-rounded game with 21 points, 12 rebounds, and seven assists in just 30 minutes of action. He dominated the game and was efficient all night. Performances like this make the front office salivate about the postseason chances of the team.
The Pelicans need Zion to be healthy
The Pelicans are fourth in the Westen Conference. Brandon Ingram is slowly becoming the man for the team. They have an interesting mix of young and veteran players who have a chip on their shoulders, such as CJ McCollum and Zion. For the prized, high-flying forward, it’s about making better shot selection this year. It also means maturity for Zion.
Going for a layup or a dunk only gives him two points. The only difference is that the former doesn’t make it to the nightly highlights reel, while a dunk gets the fans up from their seats. At this stage of his career, he must prioritize his health first over making absurd highlights. New Orleans needs him to compete in the postseason. The team wouldn’t go far without him, as the 22-year-old provides a different aspect to the game, given his wide body and penchant for attacking the basket and making plays for his teammates.
Once Zion realizes that there are other things than dunking and he could change the outcome of the game other than flying high, things are about to get scarier in New Orleans.