Video: Zion Williamson Talks Being the Face of Pelicans, Dunk Contest and MoreJune 20, 2019
Being the unanimous choice to become the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft comes with enough pressure, but Zion Williamson is facing something else entirely if the New Orleans Pelicans call his name on Thursday night.
The Pelicans agreed to send Anthony Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers for Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart and three first-round draft picks, including the No. 4 choice this year, per ESPN.com's Adrian Wojnarowski.
In an interview with Rachel Nichols of ESPN's The Jump, Williamson said he doesn't "see it as pressure" to be in the position of taking over as the face of basketball in New Orleans if he goes to the organization.
Rachel Nichols @Rachel__Nichols
Here's Part 1 of my conversation with @ZionWilliamson, where we talk about his future with the Pelicans, the dunk that he thought might get in trouble for at Duke, and why he thinks he WON'T be in next year's dunk contest (of course you know I tried to change his mind) https://t.co/kIIggshJTa
Williamson noted he is "not sure" about any concerns with the Pelicans being able to build a consistent playoff team because he isn't part of the organization yet and doesn't know what their plan will be.
Asked about the potential new faces coming to New Orleans in the proposed deal with the Lakers, Williamson believes they can help with his transition into the NBA.
"They've been in the league for a year or two, so they can teach me the ropes and we can grow together," he said.
One disappointing moment came when Williamson broke the hearts of everyone who hoped to see him take part in the 2020 Slam Dunk Contest during All-Star Weekend.
"Honestly, I don't think I'm gonna do it ... unless something can change my mind," said Williamson. "I'm not much of a dunk contest person. ... I just do it, like, in warm-ups to get myself going. Never liked it as a contest."
If there is a silver lining to that response, Williamson did leave open the possibility that something or someone could convince him otherwise. It's unclear what it would take to do that, but the NBA world will owe them a debt of gratitude if it happens.
For now, though, Williamson is on the verge of becoming the most hyped prospect to enter the NBA perhaps since LeBron James back in 2003. Those are huge shoes to fill, but the former Duke superstar has done nothing to indicate he can't handle any obstacle put in front of him.