Stephen A. Smith explains why Zion’s rookie season will mirror the one of Shaquille O’Neal

Stephen A. Smith explains why Zion’s rookie season will mirror the one of Shaquille O’Neal

Zion Williamson finally showed what he could do in three NBA preseason games so far. He is averaging an astonishing 23 points per game shooting incredibly efficient from the field at just over 70 percent. Before the start of his NBA career, there were numerous comparisons of Zion and the likes of LeBron, Charles Barkley, and Larry Johnson. According to Stephen A.Smith, based on everything he saw so far from the young prospect his rookie season might be similar to the one of Shaquille O’Neal.

In an appearance on ESPN’s show First Take, Stephen A explained why he believes there is a certain degree of similarity between him and Shaquille O’Neal. Shaq averaged 23 points in his rookie season, shooting exceptionally well from the floor. Shaq’s most significant advantage against other players was his size, which is something Stephen A believes will work in Zion’s favor as well. The Pelicans will have to fit Zion’s playing style within their system and getting him the ball enough times close to the basket. If that happens, there is no doubt he will score 20 points a game.

“I think that Zion’s rookie year will, to some degree, is going to mirror Shaquille O’Neal. When you talk about 23, it will not be 23 a game like Shaquille O’Neal averaged, but he will make 56 percent of his shots 9 out of 16 shots a game. And you know why because most of them will be dunks. Alvin Gentry will make sure he gets about 16 shots a game. Because it’s going to be 16 shots a game and most of them will be dunks and it’s going to be with him throwing those 280 pounds around to create space for him to dunk. It is going to remind you of a manchild that seems head above shoulders above most in that physicality department.”