Zion Williamson Isn't Worried About Player Comparisons: 'Just Look to Be Myself'

Megan ArmstrongCorrespondent IIJune 19, 2019

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 19: Zion Williamson speaks to the media ahead of the 2019 NBA Draft at the Grand Hyatt New York on June 19, 2019 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images)
Mike Lawrie/Getty Images

Zion Williamson is expected to become the No. 1 overall pick at Thursday's 2019 NBA draft, and he's already silencing any comparisons to top picks past. 

"Honestly, with the comparison stuff, it's nice, it's cool, but I don't look into it," the 18-year-old said at the NBA's pre-draft media availability Wednesday, according to ESPN's Tim Bontemps. "I just look to be myself. I'm not trying to be nobody. I'm just trying to be the first Zion."

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The Zion effect. (via @FletcherWDSU) https://t.co/xExZhNQmCc

Just being himself resulted in winning the 2019 Citizen Naismith Trophy as the best men's player in the country behind 22.6 points, 8.9 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game throughout his freshman season at Duke. 

The 6'7", 285-pound multifaceted forward has arguably become the most hyped prospect since LeBron James, and the New Orleans Pelicans have lucked into position to select him with the first overall pick.

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“What does it feel like to be the best prospect since LeBron James?” RJ and Zion 🤣 (via @usatodaysports) https://t.co/za4eZk9ool

The Ringer's Jordan Ritter Conn put into perspective the franchise-altering impact he will presumably be bringing soon to the Bayou:

"Zion Williamson has a 40-inch vertical and more than 3 million Instagram followers. NBA teams from Phoenix to New York wasted their seasons for a sliver of a chance to draft him. Shoe companies from Portland (Nike) to Bavaria (Adidas) to Fujian province (Anta) are competing for the right to dress him. When he was in high school, he inspired Drake to post an Instagram wearing his jersey. In college, he drew President Obama to one of his games. 


"He may soon breathe life into the NBA’s most moribund franchise. Somewhere along the way he became bigger than any city or team. The churning machines of recruiting hype and social and traditional media built a young man into a phenom. But now, as he enters the professional ranks, Williamson has become the machine."

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“Let’s go Zion!” 🗣💥 The kids are fired up to see @Zionwilliamson here at @BasketballCity! #JrNBA https://t.co/VfxFCUScgt

Williamson, however, doesn't care about his own hype. 

"I don't really see the pressure," he said Wednesday, per Bontemps. "I'm doing what I love to do, and that's play basketball. I don't try to live up to nobody's expectations. They can set them there, I don't try to live up to them. I just try to be me. Be the best version of myself that I can be."

Following the Pelicans' blockbuster trade over the weekend that will send All-Star Anthony Davis away to the Los Angeles Lakers, the best version of Williamson is exactly what New Orleans needs.