Steve Kerr Compares Zion Williamson to LeBron James; Asks Not to Be Fined by NBA

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistNovember 7, 2018

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - NOVEMBER 06:  Zion Williamson #1 of the Duke Blue Devils dribbles the ball against the kentucky Wildcats during the State Farm Champions Classic at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on November 6, 2018 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr set the bar high when he made an NBA comparison for Duke Blue Devils star Zion Williamson. 

Kerr didn't reference Williamson by name in a likely attempt to avoid running afoul of NBA rules—referring to Williamson as "the one who's 285 [lbs.]—but the inference was clear when he told reporters Wednesday the next LeBron James could be making his way to the Association soon, per The Athletic's Anthony Slater.

Williamson caught the attention of basketball fans by virtue of his thunderous dunks in high school. He was also the fifth-best player overall in the 2018 recruiting class, per 247Sports' composite rankings.

Williamson didn't disappoint in his regular-season Duke debut. He scored 28 points and collected seven rebounds in the Blue Devils' 118-84 win over the Kentucky Wildcats on Tuesday night. The freshman forward overshadowed everyone else on the floor, which is saying something given the amount of talent split between Duke and Kentucky.

The LeBron comparisons were inevitable for Williamson.

They both share a similar frame. Williamson is listed at 6'7", 285 pounds on Duke's official site, putting him an inch shorter but 35 pounds heavier than James. Like James, Williamson boasts the speed to finish off a fast break with a highlight-reel dunk and the strength to bully his way into the paint at will.

Of course, James is one of the greatest players in basketball history, so it's unfair to put any college freshman in the same conversation as the four-time MVP. Bleacher Report's Howard Beck wrote in April 2017 about how people stopped using Michael Jordan as a reference point for incoming rookies and college stars because filling Jordan's shoes was impossible.

Granted, Kerr obviously wasn't saying Williamson will go on to match James' on-court resume. One could also argue the fact Williamson has already garnered that kind of praise from Kerr is evidence of how much his reputation is growing.

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