Every college basketball fan’s worst nightmare was almost realized and we didn’t even know it. Zion Williamson actually wanted to go back to Duke for another year. Turns out, we actually have something to thank Coach K for. In a recent interview with Franklyn Calle of the Slam, he said:
“You get this college experience once,” he says. “If you’re in a situation like mine, where you’re one and done, I’m just trying to make the most of what I got. I love Duke, and honestly, I don’t want to leave. If I didn’t have as much at stake, I probably would stay for another year. But I can’t.
“Being at Duke was a dream come true for me. Everything about it. Looking to the sidelines, Whoa, that’s Coach K I’m playing for! Coach K is looking at me [and] telling me I’m built for this moment. I have a true brotherhood on and off the court. Everything was just a movie,” he says. “This was the best year of my life. So if I could come back for a second year I would, but unfortunately that’s just not the reality we live in. The reality we live in is [that] my ultimate dream is the NBA. It’s what I’ve been dreaming about as a kid so I have to pursue that. And I have to take care of my family.”
Probably didn’t want to take a pay cut.
The highest rated prospect since LeBron James not only went to college, but also had to be convinced to leave it. I get it. Playing for Duke and Coach K, experiencing Cameron Indoor and being the top story every single day had to have been incredible. But also, if I had to pick between having an incredible experience again or millions of dollars… I’m getting paid every day of the week and twice on Sunday.
This is absolutely insane to hear. Zion works his entire life to get himself to the place he is now and he really wanted to delay it for another year. Is cramming on Luke Maye really that fun? I would imagine so, but I wouldn’t pass up millions of dollars for that. Why would he want to risk another injury like the one he had a couple months ago just to lose in the first round to a 15 seed? He may be afraid of sharing the spotlight, because right now, it looks like he would rather play with Alex O’Connell than Anthony Davis.
Now that the Big Baller Brand website has gone dark amid company shut down rumors, LaVar Ball is looking for anything to get the media’s attention away from his failing business. And the media genius himself has done just that.
In a recent interview with TMZ, LaVar Ball said that his son, LiAngelo, would be taken first overall in this year’s draft if he was available. Yes, before Zion Williamson. Lavar says, “He ain’t no big baller… He’s a Williamson. Williamsons ain’t stronger than Ballers.” He even said that Zion “can’t hold a candle” to LiAngelo. WATCH:
This would definitely be a hot take to anyone else, but for LaVar Ball, this one is on the lazier side. He seems to be following the Big Baller Brand steps to get the media to overreact: Step 1: Figure out who the best basketball players are Step 2: Pick one Step 3: Call TMZ Step 4: Say you or your son is better than that basketball player.
Come on, LaVar, you’re getting too predictable. Where is the fire? Where are the empty promises and blind guarantees?
Ball also said in the interview that LiAngelo will be in the Summer League this year and guaranteed that he would have an NBA contract. On top of that, he goes on to say that LiAngelo is the biggest and strongest 2 guard in the NBA.
There it is. I knew he had it in him. That’s the LaVar we all know and love. So, LiAngelo is not available for the draft, but will make a Summer League roster and be so impressive that he ends up receiving a contract. I understand believing in your kids and having confidence in their abilities, but at what point does it just become a publicity stunt?
With the exception of “Tebow Time” in 2010, ESPN has always seemed like they are contractually obligated to dedicate any and all airtime not containing highlights to their lord and savior, LeBron James. Now that Zion has broken onto the scene, he is taking up any space that would have normally gone to Bronny Jr. But now, both LeBron and Zion will not be playing basketball until Zion hits the Summer League.
As we all know, Duke got bounced by Mr. March himself, Tom Izzo, and Michigan State. Ending Zion’s college career and Coach K’s streak of continuous Final Four appearances at 0. LeBron is also out. The Lakers will not make the playoffs and reportedly “are forcing” LeBron to take the rest of the season off. I am sure that was incredibly difficult to convince him to do.
So what, oh what, is a network dedicated to sports, like ESPN, going to cover? That’s right, still Zion and LeBron.
When it comes to LeBron, he is going to keep himself relevant. I am sure he is going to write another “Dear slightly younger LeBron” letter warning him that his LA move is going to be difficult and that he should keep his head up. Or, LeBron could show up to random games of the friends that don’t want to play with him and invite himself into their locker room postgame to do a little tampering. Last and most likely, he will be hired as a postseason analyst by ESPN to give his expertise on the playoffs that he isn’t a part of or let Stephen A Smith verbally pleasure him on-air.
Then, there is Zion. He will do a guaranteed 10+ interviews by the time the draft happens on equally terrible ESPN shows. Sportcenter will gladly bump Bryce Harper home runs to make sure that we get more highlights of Zion’s uncontested dunks. They will also leave plenty of time to unironically discuss if Zion will be taken number 1 overall. They may even bring back Skip Bayless to start some controversy because you know he already has his “I wouldn’t take Zion until the second round” takes ready to go.
ESPN could also lop the two together and give us a daily injury report on two people that aren’t injured. They’ll dedicate at least 2 days of airtime to if Zion should sign with Nike after the shoe debacle and let us know how LeBron’s mostly broken hand torn groin is doing. Remember how brave he was for returning after 6 weeks when he should have been out 6 months? Truly an inspiration.