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NBA legend Earl Monroe describes Knicks potentially drafting Zion Williamson as ‘jumping from heaven to hell’

Earl Monroe, Zion Williamson

Earl Monroe knows a thing or two about what it takes to win with the New York Knicks. The Hall of Fame guard teamed with Walt Frazier, Dave DeBusschere, and Bill Bradley in 1973 to lead the Knicks to a title over Jerry West, Wilt Chamberlain, Gail Goodrich, and the Los Angeles Lakers, the organization’s second championship in four seasons.

Obviously, New York has struggled to duplicate that level of success in the interim, appearing in just two NBA Finals and winning only one playoff series since the year 2000. Though Monroe isn’t exactly pleased with the state of his former team, he can envision one way in which the Knicks could emerge from their current depths to regain their rightful place among the league’s other glamor franchises: winning the lottery and taking Zion Williamson with the No. 1 overall pick.

In a chat with Alex Kennedy of Hoops Hype, the four-time All-Star called the prospect of Williamson wearing blue and orange next season “like jumping from hell to heaven.”

“That would be like jumping from hell to heaven,” Monroe said of drafting Williamson. “They would love his game and they’re actually primed for this guy. And if in fact, he went to New York that would be unbelievable as far as the fanbase is concerned.”

It wasn’t long ago Knicks nation was in a state of euphoria watching Kristaps Porzingis, a rare homegrown talent, develop into one of the league’s most promising two-way big men. But the Latvian star’s ACL tear last season and subsequent trade to the Dallas Mavericks in February rid New York of any prospect worth really getting excited about, instead prioritizing the ability to create as much cap space as possible this summer.

Are Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving signing with the Knicks? That seems like a pipe dream. Williamson, though, would certainly be quite the consolation prize.