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Pelicans forward Zion Williamson is reminiscent of one former All-Star, per Gary Payton

gary payton, shawn kemp, zion williamson, pelicans

Like most NBA fans, Gary Payton has seen Zion Williamson of the New Orleans Pelicans wreak havoc last season and in the recent preseason games. Inevitably, Williamson has been compared to several NBA legends. But as far as Payton is concerned, Williamson is a lot like his former teammate Shawn Kemp.

The two Seattle Supersonics legends sat down to talk anything and everything basketball. Their conversation drifted to Zion Williamson, whom Payton compared to the Reign Man. Payton pointed out that like the six-time All-Star, the Pelicans big man has an explosive style, a great second bounce, and is just as dangerous at the post.

“And he has a great one dribble, one step. When he gets the ball, he goes quick. And you had all of that.”

Kemp agreed with Payton’s observation, noting that he likes the energy Williamson brings to the court. He also gave the former Duke standout some great advice, particularly in the postseason:

“In the playoffs, it’s all about the jump shot. The paint is going to be closed off. And it comes down to ‘can you make a midrange shot or a 3-pointer?'”

This is great advice from Kemp since a reliable jump shot seems to be the weakness of Zion Williamson’s game at this point in his career. And especially coming from Kemp, this is the type of advice that Williamson should heed.

To recall, Kemp and Payton led the Sonics to multiple playoff appearances in the 90s. This included a trip to the 1996 NBA Finals against Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls.16