Zion Williamson put on a show in Madison Square Garden against the New York Knicks this past weekend. But, it wasn’t the 20-year-old’s 34 points that caught the attention of the NBA.
In a postgame press conference, Williamson’s face lit up when asked about playing in New York City. The Pelicans big man went as far as to say that it’s his favorite place to play, outside of New Orleans.
“New York is the Mecca of basketball. I love playing here. … This atmosphere whether they’re cheering or booing for you, it’s amazing. Outside of New Orleans, this might be my favorite place to play,” Williamson said.
Naturally, Knicks fans went into a frenzy trying to decipher the young All Star’s comments. ESPN NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski did his best to explain that Williamson’s answer is “something to watch” over the next the few years.
“I think it’s something to watch down the road,” Wojnarowski told Mike Greenberg in an appearance on Get Up! on Monday. “I think if you follow Zion Williamson closely, he doesn’t just talk to talk. He’s pretty particularl with what he says and when he says it… Listen, he’s a long way away from free agency. He’s only in his second year in the NBA. But, I think with the way that the Knicks have been rejuvenated, the success you’re seeing them have here in the short term anyway, I don’t think it was completely by accident… I think we all know with New York, if you have a competent product on the floor, if that team is run well, Madison Square Garden and New York is a place that players should want to play. We’ll see how New York is able to carry that forward to a time where it’s a more timely conversation with players like Zion Williamson.”
— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) April 19, 2021
As Wojnarowski said, Williamson is just two years into his rookie deal with the Pelicans. He’ll also be eligible to sign a rookie max contract extension, which means that any move to the Knicks could be a while down the road.
However, if Zion were to leave New Orleans, New York would welcome him with open arms.