Zion Williamson Talks Jordan Zion 1 Signature Sneaker, Meeting Michael Jordan

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistApril 28, 2021

New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson laughs on the sideline in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Memphis Grizzlies Monday, Jan. 20, 2020, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)
Brandon Dill/Associated Press

New Orleans Pelicans star Zion Williamson said his little brother, Noah, provided an assist to create one of the colorways for his first signature sneaker with the Jordan Brand, the Zion 1.

Williamson explained during an appearance Tuesday on CBS' The Late Late Show with James Corden he took a trip with his brother to visit Nike's Michael Jordan Building while deciding which company to sign an endorsement contract with, and the rest is history.

"They gave him a bunch of crayons. Now, Noah's five, so I don't know what they thought they were gonna get out of him right then and there," he said with a laugh. "So all he did with every color was drew some scribbles on it, and a couple months later they came and showed me a shoe with a bunch of colorful scribbles on it, and I said, 'Oh, that's dope.'"

Williamson joked that Noah, who's now seven, wasn't really excited about the design, saying, "It's supposed to happen. I'm supposed to have my own shoe."

He said one of the other colorways is a tribute to his mom, Sharonda Sampson, for helping him get out of a "tough environment" en route to a successful basketball career.

Meanwhile, Williamson also discussed his first meeting with Jordan, which came at a Jordan Brand party with hundreds of guests, which limited their interaction time.

"Man, seeing him was like seeing Black Jesus; it was crazy being in the same room as him," the 2021 NBA All-Star told Corden. "You know, he just told me, 'Keep working. Be yourself, and that's going to take you a long way.' But in my mind, I'm looking at my mom like, 'I just met Mike!'"

Williamson and the Pelicans (27-34) are back in action Wednesday night when they visit Ball Arena to take on the Denver Nuggets as they attempt to hunt down the final playoff berth in the Western Conference.

New Orleans trails the Golden State Warriors (31-31) by 3.5 games for the 10th seed in the West, but three of its final 11 regular-season games are against the Dubs, so there's still time to make a charge.

Williamson, the first overall pick in the 2019 draft, is averaging 26.9 points, 7.2 rebounds and 3.6 assists while shooting 61.8 percent from the field across 56 appearances during his second NBA season.


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