With the NBA fall in Charlotte, North Carolina, for the All-Star Game of the weekend, a subject call among the league elite will be Zion Williamson, the projected No. 1 picks in the 2019 NBA draft, which plays his college basketball about 140 miles away at Duke.
Williamson has already become the eye of the Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James, who along with agent Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, close friend and co-worker Randy Mims and Lakers teammates Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Rajon Rondo, traveled to Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday to see Williamson and the No. 2-ranked blue jaws beat No. 4 Cavaliers.
"It was a game between the law of the country [top]," said James ESPN of his decision to fly down from Philadelphia the day before the Lakers played 76ers. "Coach K [Mike Krzyzewski] is my guy and the flight was 35 minutes. So it was easy. It was easy to do it. It was the first time I saw Duke play, I think, in my life. Want to go to Cameron [Indoor Stadium] One day, too. "At 6-foot-7 and 292 pounds, Duke freshman Zion Williamson is a force on the basketball court. But Clemson's Dabo Swinney told Blue Devils coach Mike Krzyzewski that he would place Williams "where" he wanted to play on the football field.
When LeBron James prepares for an All Star game in Michael Jordan's city, we look back at what the two have said about each other since they first met in 2001
To James, who had superstars Like Shaquille's Neal and Allen Iverson, he came and looked at his high schools, there was a chance to bring things full circle.
And while Williamson, and his floating closest block at Virginia's De & # 39; Andre Hunter, stole the show Saturday, James said the entire Duke team was impressive. It is a law that his eldest son, LeBron James Jr., could join one day, has already received a standing scholarship offer from Krzyzewski according to sources.
"I love what the young boys are doing over there," he said. "I love what Zion and RJ [Barrett] and Cam [Reddish] and Tre [Jones] I love what they do. So, [the trip] was a no-brainer. It was easy."
With his Williamson draws comparisons with 6-8, 250-pound James as one of the best prospects ever to be on the NBA's radar.
"What strikes me? His agility and his speed," James said. "For his size, how strong he is, in order to move as he moves, he is very impressive. I mean everyone can see athleticism. It is obviously ridiculous. But the speed and speed he moves [with] at that size is very impressive. "
James also promised Williams's maturity, especially with how he responded to Scottie Pippen proposes last month to sit out the rest of his New Year's season to avoid injury and protect his future profit potential with its draft warehouse already set.
"I can relate in a sense that he has been covered since he was in high school and everyone is trying to compare him to the next one or that. But the best thing I" I noticed he seems like a good child. He seems to have his head straight, James says. "And when they asked him, do you know, guys in our league and people who cover our league and talk about," If I was Zion Williamson, I would sit out for the rest of the year, "he was like," it's [silly]. Why? I'm here to play basketball. I love to play basketball. I'm here at Duke, I have fun. These are my friends. I'm doing fine. Why would I sit outside? "
" That's the kind of s that beats me. Everyone gets so caught up in the game itself. I'm looking at intangible assets. And he seems to have great intangible assets and seems like a good child. "
James and Agent Paul took exception for anyone who thought the visit was a recruiting trip.
" A recruiting trip? I didn't talk to anyone, "James told ESPN.
" They just say it because it's Rich. When Shaq came to see me play in high school, when A.I. came to see me play in high school, they did not say it was a recruiting trip then. But because it is Rich Paul and LeBron, now it is a recruitment trip.
"Now Rich is a threat to everyone, and they are looking at it and they want to continue trying to chase my agent and jab my friend. And what is he they don't say about any other agent, but my guy because he is a threat.
"And he is African-American also throw it in there. "
Paul pointed out how the perception has changed since he and James participated in college games in the past.
" All I care about is respect, "Paul told ESPN." That's all. We just enjoyed a basketball game. Didn't talk to anyone. Did nothing or nothing. But it is a question when you see several media people shining on it as if it is a negative thing. But when I was one of his homeboys, one of his "posse" and we went to see Steph Curry in Detroit (for a Davidson-Wisconsin NCAA tournament game 2008), no one said anything. Nobody said nothing. "
Paul then discussed the coded language he heard directed at him through his career.
" Think about it from this perspective, "he said." At one end you got a "posse". & # 39; Or they are "leeches". Years ago it was leeches or "hanger-ons." They are okay when they can call you there but they are not okay when it is a CEO and you have the biggest superstar in the world who supports someone whom he trusts to do their business outside the court and just who happens to be a friend. "
Since Williamson's game in front of James, the legend of Duke Phenom has just grown. He wrote 27 points, 12 rebounds and 3 steals Tuesday in a come-from-behind victory over Louisville in a game The Blue Devils Williamson and Duke host NC State
There is probably enough NBA staff at hand.