College coaches mention Larry Johnson, Draymond Green when discussing Zion Williamson
Duke star Zion Williamson is unquestionably one of the hottest prospects to come out of college in the past decade or so.
He has been compared to many NBA players in the past, with some even labeling him as the next LeBron James. More comparisons came out of Sam Vecenie’s recent write-up for The Athletic, in which a couple of college coaches compared Williamson to retired two-time All-Star forward Larry Johnson and former Defensive Player of the Year winner Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors:
“Obviously, you watch him on TV and then you look at him up close, and it’s like, ‘damn.’ I used to see Larry Johnson around, and the only human I’ve seen like (Zion) is Larry. And that’s Larry when he was five or six years older. Zion’s physical appearance is staggering. He’s every bit of Larry Johnson, just eight years younger. Ridiculous fast twitch. Hardest playing guy on the court by far, which is a testament to him. There has to be a ton of guys around him saying he shouldn’t play anymore because he could hurt his status. And here he is, the opposite. Loose, balls, extra plays, rebounding. He’ll make Pete Rose-style dives head first to go after balls when they’re up 16, 18 points. He doesn’t need to do that, but he does. The motor is off the charts. The physical appearance is frightening.”
According to another anonymous coach, there is no question that Zion Williamson should be taken as the first overall pick in the coming draft, as he sees shades of three-time NBA champ Draymond Green in the youngster:
“No question about it, I’d take him No. 1. He’s doing some stuff I didn’t think he’d be able to do. He grew again late. He’s got the size of a 4. Because people like playing with him and he’ll do all of the intangibles, and because he has a motor, if he stays healthy, there’s no reason why a team shouldn’t take him No. 1.
“He’s bringing you a high-level motor dude. Rebounding translates. Zion will be able to rebound with the best of them. Then, he’ll allow you to do the Draymond Green thing and cheat the game, where he can bring the ball in transition as a point forward and make plays. He should be the No. 1 pick.”
These are just the latest of like-for-like comparisons used to try to help people imagine the type of player Williamson is going to be once he enters the pros. However, one thing is certain: Zion is a once-in-a-generation type of prospect. He could most certainly go down in history as the first Zion Williamson.