Zion Williamson participated in his first All-Star event playing in a World vs. USA game that showcased the future stars of the NBA. In 20 minutes of action, Zion scored 14 points alongside a few spectacular plays on both ends of the floor. At the end of the game, Zion had a mini dunk contest to showcase his leaping ability, but unfortunately, none of the dunks he tried came through. After the game, Zion spoke with the media, and one of the things he talked about was the influence the older generation of players had on him growing up.
Surprisingly enough, it was Zion’s mom who was the one who shared the love but also the knowledge about basketball on her son. When he was a kid, his mom told him to watch Jordan and the Bulls. She also insisted he watches Magic and Bird, so Zion was able to observe these legends play basketball from an early age. Zion mentioned he was fascinated by Magic’s passing ability and Bird’s ability to shot the ball exceptionally well.
“It was my mom that lead me to watch Michael Jordan and the Bulls. I asked her when I first started playing basketball, who should I go watch, and she told me Jordan, Bird, and Magic. I think I started with Magic and I was like man he can pass the ball. Bird can shot, and he is an all-around player.”
When it came to Jordan, his mom required Zion to watch full games and not highlights. That way, he was able to see the way Jordan impacted the game on both ends of the floor. Zion said all the unbelievable moves Jordan caught his attention, so he watched almost any piece of footage he could find.
“When I got to Jordan, she told me to watch full games and not highlights, so I watched full games. As a kid, the staff he was doing; it was incredible to watch. Getting a steal, saving it, and throwing a backward layup floating through the lane, through three people dunking it. As a kid, that really caught my attention, and then I just watched every full game of Michael Jordan that I could find.”