Duke basketball legend Zion Williamson dunks despite walking concerns

Duke basketball legend Zion Williamson (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Duke basketball legend Zion Williamson (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

As former Duke basketball star Zion Williamson learns what is apparently the best way for him to walk while also wrapping up his rehab, he’s already rediscovering his ability to fly.

How can a man dunk without even knowing how to properly walk? Well, for one, former Duke basketball great and 2019 No. 1 overall draft pick Zion Williamson is superhuman. But we already knew that from his averages of 22.6 points, 8.9 rebounds, 2.1 steals, and 1.8 blocks last season as a Blue Devil.

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Evidently, per ESPN’s Andrew Lopez, the New Orleans Pelicans believe their 6-foot-7, 285-pound Spartanburg, S.C., native — who averaged 23.3 points and 6.5 boards while shooting 71.4 percent from the field across four preseason appearances — has long been walking and running with a flawed stride, long before the meniscus repair in his right knee on Oct. 21 that has delayed his NBA debut.

As Lopez reported, the Pelicans are “trying to tweak small matters in how he walks and runs, working on the kinetic chain of his body.”

Williamson’s mobility issues didn’t stop him from dunking on Saturday night for the first time on camera in months. Prior to the 10-23 Pelicans’ 120-98 win at home over the 21-12 Indiana Pacers, the league’s most anticipated rookie since LeBron James didn’t exactly put on the type of dunking clinic he displayed as an all-time Duke basketball sensation last season. Two simple slams during shootarounds, though, suggested his return may not be far off at all.

Here is one of the dunks:

And here is the other:

Finally, here’s how Lopez outlined this week the franchise’s outlook on Williamson’s return/debut:

"“David Griffin, the Pelicans’ executive vice president of basketball operations, has said Williamson has to pass preseason conditioning tests before he’s cleared to make his debut.“A source within the organization told ESPN that before Williamson makes his on-court return, the team would like him to undergo at least two or three practices doing full work. A source told [ESPN’s Jorge] Sedano the team is targeting just after the new year for those practices.”"

Sounds like good times are on the horiZion. Though he may not walk right, Williamson does now look ready to fly again.

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Stay tuned to Ball Durham for more updates, analyses, opinions, and predictions regarding Zion Williamson and other Blue Devils in the NBA.