Kenny Smith Disagrees with Scottie Pippen, Says Zion Shouldn't Sit Duke's Games

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJanuary 20, 2019

DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA - JANUARY 14: Zion Williamson #1 of the Duke Blue Devils moves the ball against the Syracuse Orange during their game at Cameron Indoor Stadium on January 14, 2019 in Durham, North Carolina. Syracuse won 95-91 in overtime. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Former NBA point guard Kenny "The Jet" Smith said Duke superstar freshman Zion Williamson needs to ignore advice from Basketball Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen, who suggested the forward should sit out of the rest of the Blue Devils' games to begin preparation for the 2019 NBA draft.

Smith, who currently works as an analyst for the NBA on TNT, told TMZ Sports playing competitive games is the best way for the potential No. 1 pick to get ready for the next level.

"When you play, you get an opportunity to hone your craft," he said. "Iron sharpens iron."

On Wednesday, Pippen explained during an appearance on ESPN's The Jump (via Kyle Boone of CBS Sports) he believes Williamson is taking a major risk by continuing to play for Duke.

"I think he's locked up the biggest shoe deal, I think he's definitely going to be the No. 1 pick, I think he's done enough for college basketball that it's more about him personally," he said. "I would shut it down. I would stop playing because I feel he could risk a major injury that could really hurt his career."

Williamson, who scored 27 points Saturday to help Duke knock off previously undefeated Virginia, said after the game he's had no thoughts about leaving the program midseason, per Josh Graham of WSJS Sports Hub.

"I can't just stop playing," he said. "I'd be letting my teammates down, I'd be letting Coach K down, I'd be letting a lot of people down. If I wanted to sit out, I wouldn't have went to college. I came to Duke to play."

That's great news for college basketball fans because Zion will be the main attraction during March Madness, and he could very well lead Duke to its sixth national championship.


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