Zion in awe of rookie achievements: My name's next to Michael Jordan?!

Oleh Ben Spratt 29 Februari 2020 14
Zion in awe of rookie achievements: My name's next to Michael Jordan?!

Zion Williamson was amazed to learn his latest rookie achievements have included matching the great Michael Jordan.

The number one overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft has sparkled since his belated debut last month following arthroscopic knee surgery.

And Williamson's 24 points in a 116-104 success against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday lifted his resurgent New Orleans Pelicans to ninth in the Western Conference, just two games shy of the playoff line.

It was the 19-year-old's individual exploits that garnered most attention, however, as Williamson became the first teenager ever to post 20-plus points in 10 straight games.

Earlier in his dominant run, Williamson had four consecutive games with at least 25 points while shooting at least 57 per cent from the field. Jordan was the last rookie to achieve this feat.

The former Duke sensation did not believe team-mate Jahlil Okafor when initially told of the statistic and turned to Pelicans security officer Chico Robinson for confirmation.

"Chico, my name's next to Michael Jordan?" Williamson asked. "Wow, Jahlil was for real.

"I mean, it's dope. I can't even lie. [He was] one of my favourite players growing up. I said in some interview, my mom told me to study film of him, so to be in that category, it means a lot."

Still, Williamson insists his focus is on delivering success for New Orleans, with their playoff bid now very much alive.

"I think the world and the media is more happy for me than myself," he said. "Honestly, I don't even think much of it if I'm being honest.

"I just want to get the win. You know, my stepdad taught me growing up: if the team has success then the individual things will follow. I guess it's just one of those things."

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