Former Tar Heel Compares Zion To Two NBA Greats

Eric Montross believes Zion Williamson is a mix of two NBA players. One is already in the Hall of Fame; the other eventually will be

Taz and the Moose
March 20, 2019 - 9:27 am
Zion Williamson Duke Syracuse ACC

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Former Tar Heel and current UNC Radio Network analyst Eric Montross has seen Zion Williamson several times this season, and every time he comes away thinking the same thing:

“Williamson is a terrific player,” Montross said on Taz & The Moose. “Absolutely terrific player. All of his accolades are well-deserved. He is really something to watch. You see him on TV, and it’s one thing. You see him in person, and you think, ‘Ho-ly cow.’ The thing I have been most impressed with are his quickness off the floor and his ability to pick up offensive rebounds.”

Williamson’s quick feet remind Montross of former Tar Heel Antawn Jamison, who played for UNC from 1995-98.

“He could jump twice or three times before his opponent could get off the ground and back down and try to get back up,” Montross said of the former fourth overall pick. “Williamson is terrific (on the glass). It’s one of the key plays that beat the Tar Heels in the ACC Tournament. But also how explosive he is laterally, you just watch and see what he does to clean up situations, and he plays hard on both ends of the court. That is really impressive to see out of a kid with that kind of talent.”

As for whether Williamson’s game will translate to the NBA, Montross has zero reservations.

“I express his athleticism as the athleticism of a Westbrook in the body of  a Charles Barkley,” Montross said. “If you take that, then I think he translates pretty darn well. The game is becoming more about mobility and strength and explosiveness. The fact is, nobody wants to guard LeBron because he’s explosive, he drives the ball. The thing about Zion is that when he gets the basketball, very few times is there ever a hesitation before he goes into the move. He’s so explosive that he’s incredibly hard to guard. If you’re on him tight and the guy catches the ball, typically you have a half count before a player will make an offensive move. Williamson, in a lot of cases, just goes right into the move, and because he’s so quick, he gets ahead of the defender. I think that translates at any level.”