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Duke's Zion Williamson never made it to the Final Four this year, but he will make it to the NBA. Analysts have compared him to LeBron James, Shaquille O'Neal and Charles Barkley - and now to Grandmama, Larry Johnson - and that wouldn't be bad, either. LJ was a 6'7", 250-pound athletic powerhouse who had a very successful 10-year, NBA career.



At 6'7", 250 pounds, Grandmama was taken first overall in the 1991 NBA draft - voted Rookie of the Year - the 1992-93 season being his best, averaging a whopping 40.2 MPG, 22.1 PPG, 10.5 RPG and 4.3 APG. And who has the courage to don a dowdy old dress and do commercials as Grandmama? I see Johnson being Zion's floor in the NBA, and that is pretty solid.


Sir Charles (Barkley) was supposed to be a player with no position, but he did fabulously as an undersized, versatile power forward. Charles was listed at 6'6" and 252 pounds, but I suspect that he was a bit shorter than advertised. Williamson is bigger and stronger than Barkley, and I would not be surprised to see him equal, or even surpass, Barkley's accomplishments on the court.

How about Kedrick Brown?
Remember him - drafted 11th overall in the 2001 draft by the Boston Celtics. Despite fans, and some writers, gushing all over his high-level athleticism, he lasted only four years in the NBA, averaging a mere 3.6 points per game. We may see this happen with Zion, but I doubt it like Hell. At 6'7" and 285 pounds, he looks like he can't get out of his own way. But he flies through the air as if he is being propelled. He is a good kid and has proven he can play. So forget comparisons - Zion defies description. I have never seen anyone quite like him.

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Photo via Kevin Cox/Getty Images

Tom Lane 4/04/2019 12:29:00 PM Edit
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