Zion Williamson’s Time Is Now

LOS ANGELES — As a first-year guard with the Philadelphia 76ers a decade ago, Jrue Holiday was just hoping for playing time. But he can still remember the excitement he felt before his first games against luminaries like Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade and Shaquille O’Neal, whom Holiday found especially imposing in real life.

After scoring 29 points in a 118-109 loss to the Lakers at Staples Center on Tuesday night, Williamson was about to start his postgame news conference when Brandon Ingram, the Pelicans’ All-Star forward, strode past and shouted: “Zion, you’re the GOAT!” Williamson looked mortified 파워볼사이트.

But it is about him, whether he likes it or not. Since making his debut last month after missing the first half of the season with a knee injury, Williamson has averaged 23.3 points and 7.1 rebounds a game while shooting 57.3 percent from the field. After Tuesday’s game, James said he considered Williamson’s game “a perfect fit” for the N.B.A.: quick, explosive, multidimensional. At the same time, James made it curiously clear that he and Williamson do not know each other.

Without Williamson through the first half of the season, the Pelicans were up and down. Ingram and Lonzo Ball, whom New Orleans acquired over the summer as a part of the deal that sent Anthony Davis to Los Angeles, showed promise, and Holiday offered his usual brand of leadership. But the Pelicans also drifted through a 13-game losing streak. Since Williamson made his debut on Jan. 22, the Pelicans are 8-6. He seemed bothered by Tuesday’s result.

For his part, Williamson said he was “trying to get better at everything.” He was not particularly expansive after the game.

On facing James for the first time: “It was a great experience. He’s an incredible player, and his résumé speaks for itself.”

On holding himself to a high standard: “I hate when I make mistakes.”

On whether the atmosphere at N.B.A. games is different from what he experienced as a college player at Duke: “I feel like it’s pretty similar. The only difference is there’s no student section.”

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