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Zion Williamson’s Instagram video could mean 1 of 3 things

Don’t fall into the trap and think this is nothing. It’s always something. It’s just on you to decide.
New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson

Zion Williamson

Zion Williamson has turned into the NBA equivalent of Bigfoot. You never see footage of him. And when you do, you have to inspect it to see if it’s fake. But at the end of the day, you are always hopeful that it's real because it is fun watching a beast at work. 

Zion’s new Instagram video speaks to this curiosity. There are three things we can take from it, and while some can overlap a tad and some can’t, it’s only a matter of time before we know which one stands out from the rest.

1. He might actually care about his reputation

Zion Williamson rocked up to training camp fat. Not bulky. Not chunky. He came back to the team looking like a reverse add for WeightWatchers. That’s when the whispers started that maybe Zion does care about his reputation.

But when C.J McCollum, a top 40 player by even the harshest lists, joins your team, and you don’t even send out a text? The man is literally the President of the National Basketball Player Association. That’s when the whispers turned to chatter. Finally, J.J Reddick went on ESPN calling out Zion for previously and continually being a ‘detached teammate,’ and later reported he still got nothing back. So at some point, you have to just say, Zion Williamson does not care.

At the lowest PR point of his life, this video might indicate he actually does.

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2. He's about to destroy the Ja Morant Narrative

Zion was the hype train in college, the draft, his rookie year - almost anywhere he played. But 85 games played across three seasons isn’t the most fabulous sample size. Now that Ja Morant has played a hundred games more than Zion (not including playoffs) and is pushing his team to the second seed, he is deservingly in MVP talks. In comparison, Zion is in, well…these talks.

I bet if you asked 1000 NBA analysts and General Managers who they would pick in 2018 if they knew all the information now, Zion would be left only with the people belonging to the Pelicans organization.

If he comes back to his old self, which was the message behind this video, that landslide narrative can be thrown in the trash. It could be possible that the Pelicans were just overly protective rather than cowardly optimistic when postponing his return half a dozen times. It’s not like they have any hope of winning now.

3. Did we not learn anything from Ben Simmons?

When the crums of the entitled, first overall pick tale appear twice - take note. Ben Simmons pulled the community along a movie that would never end. This frustration peaked in the form of offseason highlight videos of him hitting threes in practice facilities.

The point of that story is to not believe anything until you see it for yourself. Simmons has now made a total of 5 threes. The first came after 18 attempts and 172 regular-season games. So we can look back at those training videos and the hype that followed and laugh. 

The point of this in relation to Zion is that Simmons did not handle his business expertly by any metric. Part of this was thinking that edited highlight videos in a gym with no defense were enough to get fans off his back. If it stays at one video, okay, maybe I’m wrong. But if he returns in bad shape, gets injured again, then sends more of these in. Well, these two might be long-lost brothers.

That dunk video could have been all the Pelicans used for their 2023 season ticket promotions. Instead, they advertised everything about New Orleans except the star player who’s still yet to debut all season. So don’t fall into the trap and think this is nothing. It’s always something. It’s just on you to decide.

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