“Let’s Dance!” That was the simple message Zion Williamson had for New Orleans Pelicans fans on draft night after the franchise made him the first pick of the 2019 NBA draft. While the city of New Orleans never needs encouragement to have a good time, the statement perfectly summarized what the long-struggling organization was getting in the 19-year-old superstar.
With Zion, it’s apparently not enough to just succeed; he wants to have fun while doing it and to achieve his goals as part of a team and community. Following a successful surgery on a torn meniscus that will sideline Zion for the next six to eight weeks, the South Carolina-raised phenomenon is set to embark the most hyped, and anticipated, rookie season since LeBron James joined the league more than a decade ago. But whereas LeBron was a household name for basketball fans during his time in high school, Zion’s celebrity is at another level, thanks especially to his social media presence.
By the time he arrived at Duke University in the middle of 2018, he was already famous. With more than a million Instagram followers and numerous mixtapes that were YouTube viral sensations, Zion was the talk of the basketball world. Drake wore Zion’s high school jersey and the athlete’s AAU summer games became some of the hottest tickets in basketball." - Keith Gordon
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