An 18-year-old snickered and it broke the internet. Now it’s fuel for talk that a generational talent is heading back to school.
The New Orleans Pelicans unexpectedly won the No. 1 pick in the draft — sending New York Knicks fans to tears — and the rights to draft Duke superstar Zion Williamson.
The Pelicans had a six percent shot at winning the lottery, lower odds than the Knicks and Chicago Bulls. The Knicks were reportedly Williamson’s preferred landing spot and so much was made of his reaction to the lottery results. Combine that with Anthony Davis’ future in New Orleans holding its place as a muddled mess and the NBA rumor mill has been swirling for two days.
The latest question is this: Will Zion return to Duke? It was the topic of discussion on ESPN’s “The Jump” on Wednesday.
Jefferson doesn’t like Zion to Duke talk
According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, it’s “a conversation that’s happening in the NBA right now” and has been “blowing up my phone since [Tuesday] night.”
Williamson has until 10 days before the draft to withdraw his name. He hasn’t signed with an agent nor has he signed a shoe deal so his amateur status is intact.
“He could threaten to go back to Duke,” Windhorst said.
Richard Jefferson, the 13th overall pick by the Houston Rockets in the 2001 draft, was having none of this talk. His reaction while Windhorst continues on is priceless.
Richard Jefferson reacting to Brian Windhorst's BS about Zion returning to Duke pic.twitter.com/3NoHSsW8TP
— Heart of NBA (@HeartofNBA) May 16, 2019
Jefferson continues to vigorously nod in the full clip as Windhorst continues and makes the point Williamson can do whatever he wants at this point, even something as outlandish as retiring.
Stepdad: Zion ‘excited’ about New Orleans
Lee Anderson, Williamson’s stepfather, said Thursday that Zion is “excited” about playing in New Orleans and returning to Duke was nothing they had even considered.
“One thing that Zion has always been taught,” Anderson said, “is that you accept the things that you can’t change and you change the things that you can change, and this is one of the things that he had nothing to do with.”
As the Curry family reminded NBA fans this week, they didn’t want Stephen Curry to end up with the Golden State Warriors. That seems to be working out just fine a decade later. It’s incredibly likely Williamson was snickering at the draft lottery results because, well, everyone was snickering at the results.
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