Second demand: Self-determined playing time
A fool is anyone who would try to find out in some book — or ask some doctor or scientist with a 10-inch vertical — about the physical limits of Zion Williamson. A fool is also anyone who would do anything other than allow Williamson to decide for himself his own limitations. A fool is anyone who would only play Williamson in stretches of “a limited number of bursts,” regardless of his performance, as David Griffin said was the plan.
Finally, a fool is anyone who would leave Williamson on the bench only for this to happen:
Newsflash: Zion Williamson is a viciously ambitious basketball player with a magnetizing persona. He will sweat profusely. He will roar after emphatic baskets. He will do high-knee kicks around the court in utter joy to amp up his teammates. The average onlooker, meanwhile, might get tired from just watching, but that does not in any way mean Williamson himself is ready to come out of the game.
Look, nobody knows for sure, but his career may very well be brief due to his mix of athleticism, size, and competitive fire. But the time Williamson does spend on the court before calling it quits one day will definitely fall short of what could have been if his coaches don’t keep him on the court long enough for him to demoralize opponents by repeatedly imposing his will — and, frankly, just by trying harder than everyone else.
And though he may be too nice of a guy to say anything — possibly his downfall in the end — Williamson should also ensure himself the opportunity to impose his will to potentially historic levels by demanding this one last thing…