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Zion Williamson reveals the biggest surprise of his rookie season

Pelicans, Zion Williamson

New Orleans Pelicans rookie Zion Williamson revealed what has been the biggest surprise of his first season in the NBA. Only a week ago, Williamson told the media he expected to make an impact upon making his debut, “but not like this.”

He told ESPN’s Rachel Nichols (editor’s note: quote has been tightened for clarity):

“The thing that surprised me the most is how much my teammates looked to me to try and make an impact,” said Williamson. “I thought they would kind of let me feel the game out before they started giving me the ball. But nah, they trusted me.”

The Pelicans rookie was a bit hesitant to push the action early on and deferred to his teammates in the first three-quarters of his debut, but if he didn’t have the full confidence of his squad, he soon would gain it after railing 17 points in the fourth quarter to bring his squad into the game.

From then on, all Zion has done is shoot over 50% in eight of his next nine games, including setting back career-highs in scoring.

Zion Williamson is yet to become a volume shooter, but he’s already found his way to the foul line plenty, attempting double-digit free throws in three of his last four games.

His teammates will trust him as long as he’s an automatic bucket near the rim and so long as he keeps playing with the same vigor and intensity that has made him a load down-low.

At only 19 years old, the sky is the limit for young Zion Williamson, who looks to have bounced back very well from his meniscus tear as his initial 10-game stretch has proved.