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Hawks forward Jabari Parker says he can’t really relate to Zion Williamson

Jabari Parker, Zion Williamson

Atlanta Hawks power forward Jabari Parker has more than a few things in common with New Orleans Pelicans rookie sensation Zion Williamson. Both were highly-recruited from high school, and both guys ended up playing for Duke under the tutelage of the great Mike Krzyzewski. Moreover, both Parker and Williamson were selected very early on in their respective drafts (Parker went second overall to the Milwaukee Bucks back in 2014) after playing just a single year of college ball.

However, in his mind, Parker believes that despite their similarities, he cannot really relate to Zion and all the overwhelming hype that currently surrounds the 19-year-old phenom.

“No, I cannot relate to Zion. Zion is on a whole different spectrum than me,” Parker explains, via Alex Kennedy of Hoops Hype. “That guy is a once-in-a-lifetime type of athlete, a once-in-a-lifetime type of icon.”

Parker was himself a highly-touted prospect entering the NBA at a very young age, but even he can comfortably admit that Williamson is simply on a class of his own.

The 24-year-old then went on to provide some unsolicited advice for Williamson — something that Parker seems to have learned through his own experience in the league thus far.

“He just needs to be whoever he wants to be,” Parker said. “I don’t think people should tell him what he should be doing. The only way to [love life] and grow is by being yourself. We should all be ourselves. I really, really hope that he becomes the person he wants to be and enjoys his life.”

Parker is entering his first season with the Hawks after he signed with the squad as a free agent this summer. The 6-foot-8 power forward currently holds career averages of 15.1 points (on 49.1 percent shooting), 5.7 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 0.9 steals in five seasons in the NBA.