Daniels On Zion: "I've Never Seen Anything Like It"

Antonio Daniels explains why Zion Williamson is "one of one in NBA history"

Tiki and Tierney
February 11, 2020 - 8:28 am
Zion Williamson Pelicans

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Last week, ESPN NBA analyst Ryan Hollins said he would take Ja Morant over Zion Williamson. This week, Antonio Daniels was asked the same question.

His response? The exact opposite.

“Not even a question,” the Pelicans TV analyst said on Tiki & Tierney. “Well, the next five years, we can’t predict that. But here’s the thing. With my position now, being the color analyst for the Pelicans, I’ve not only see Zion in games; I’ve seen Zion at every practice, every training camp. And I’ve never in life – [not being] a homer at all. I’m telling you the same exact thing that I tell to all former players when I see them on the road: Zion is one of one in NBA history. I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Williamson is averaging 19.8 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 26.9 minutes through eight games as a rookie.

“I’ve never seen a guy with this size, this strength, this explosiveness, this agility with this touch around the rim at that size,” Daniels said. “You have to take different components from different players throughout the course of history. He has a Rodney Rogers body, he pursues rebounds like Dennis Rodman or he explodes like Vince Carter. But to put them all in one package, I’ve never seen anything like it.”

That doesn’t mean Daniels doesn’t like Morant. It just means Williamson is unique.

“It’s tough to give someone credit without discrediting someone else,” Daniels said. “I’m not discrediting Ja Morant. But I am not as qualified to talk about Ja Morant like I am Zion Williamson. I don’t see Ja Morant every day at practice. But I have seen Zion.”

Many analysts worry about Williamson’s weight and long-term health. Daniels, though, isn’t concerned about either and believes Williamson will find his ideal weight as he develops.

“I don’t think anybody knows yet because he is one of one, [and he’s 19],” Daniels said. “It would be different if they had a blueprint to go on of somebody in history that they could look at and say, ‘This is that guy.’ They don’t have that. With Zion being one of one, it’s like a clean slate. At 19, did any of us know what was best for us at that time? It’s going to take time for him to find out what weight he plays best at.”