Zion Williamson Discusses NBA Goals, Dunk Contest, Being Face of Pelicans

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJune 19, 2019

Zion Williamson, a freshman from Duke, attends the NBA Draft media availability, Wednesday, June 19, 2019 in New York. The basketball draft will be held Thursday, June 20. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
Mark Lennihan/Associated Press

Zion Williamson hasn't even been drafted into the NBA yet, but he already has high hopes for his future.

The presumptive No. 1 pick in Thursday's draft listed his career goals at a press conference Wednesday and wasn't selling himself short.

"MVP, Rookie of the Year, possibly Defensive Player of the Year, (eventually) Hall of Famer," Williamson said, per Jim Eichenhofer of the New Orleans Pelicans official website. "If you don't hold yourself to those standards, I don't know what you're striving for."

He also said he's ready to be the Pelicans' face of the franchise after hearing about the Anthony Davis trade:

"Honestly, yes. I do think I'm ready," he explained, per Andrew Lopez of the Times-Picayune. "You have to think that way. If not, you might be playing the wrong sport."

As excited as people are to watch him on the court, Williamson likely disappointed many fans by failing to commit to next year's dunk contest.

The forward said he "might not" compete in next year's dunk contest, but he is still unsure, according to Will Guillory of The Athletic. Considering the leaping ability he has shown at Duke and in high school, he would easily be the main attraction on All-Star Saturday night.

He gave a taste of what was possible at the McDonald's All-American Game last year:

After LeBron James went his career without competing in the dunk contest, Williamson passing on the opportunity could rob us of another generational player in the exciting event.

Meanwhile, Williamson did get a laugh Wednesday when former Duke teammate RJ Barrett stopped in for a question:

The two friends are expected to both be taken within the first three picks of the 2019 draft.  

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