Duke basketball: Zion Williamson reveals shocking fact about rookie year

Duke basketball standout Zion Williamson (Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball standout Zion Williamson (Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports) /

Duke basketball superstar Zion Williamson revealed a shocking reality regarding his rookie season.

Injuries derailed the rookie season of former Duke basketball standout Zion Williamson, but when he was healthy, the former National Player of the Year was still dominant.

In his first media availability of the 2020-21 season, Williamson admitted that he was not his authentic self in his first season with the New Orleans Pelicans, but it wasn’t because of injury.

“I feel like there’s a lot of my game that I wasn’t able to showcase last year due to just trying to fit in with the team and finding my place, just trying not to be the rookie to mess up,” Williamson told the media.

The second runner-up to the NBA Rookie of the Year Award averaged 22.5 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 2.1 assists in 24 games in his first season and shot 58.3 percent from the field and 42.9 percent from 3-point range.

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If there’s more Zion Williamson can show and produce on the basketball court, opponents should be petrified of facing the freak of nature.

The Spartanburg, South Carolina native is also feeling much more comfortable in his organization following the firing of head coach Alvin Gentry and the hiring of Stan Van Gundy because of Van Gundy’s “old school” approach to the game.

Williamson said that the way in which Van Gundy approaches the game reminds him of how Mike Krzyzewski would coach in his one season at Duke.

“I feel like that’s going to be something I’ll easily relate with,” Williamson said about Van Gundy’s style. “I’m excited to work with him. I can see his love and passion for the game even when he’s showing me small things within the game. I love stuff like that.”

The Duke basketball star can’t wait for his sophomore season

After falling short of his playoff expectations in his rookie season, Zion Williamson is ready to redeem himself in 2020-21.

“It was a lot mentally that I was trying to process all at once. Starting off fresh in year two, it’s a new staff and a lot of new things going on around here, so hopefully, we can come together quicker with that,” the future star explained.

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Zion Williamson will be back with his core of teammates from last season in point guard Lonzo Ball and small forward Brandon Ingram, who just agreed to a maximum extension with the franchise.

Given a serious minutes restriction last season, the Pelicans do not envision Williamson on any restrictions to begin the season.

There have been no reports on when the New Orleans Pelicans will open their season, but the team will be playing the defending Eastern Conference Champion Miami Heat on the road to open up the Christmas Day slate of games at 12:00pm EST.

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