Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Christian Laettner: ‘Of course Zion will be out there as soon as he can’
By ADAM ZAGORIAChristian Laettner laughed when he heard some people suggest that Zion Williamson should shut it down after suffering a knee sprain on Feb. 20 against North Carolina.
“I laughed because the kid is a great player now because he loves the game, he loves to be out there on the court,” Laettner, the two-time NCAA champion at Duke, said Tuesday on ESPN’s “Get Up!” “So of course he’s going to be out there as soon as he can. As soon as he feels 100 percent healthy, he’s going to be out there doing the thing that he loves to do.”
The 6-foot-7 Williamson is in the final phase of his recovery but was ruled out for Tuesday night’s game against Wake Forest — Williamson’s final home game. He is the projected No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft.
On Saturday, No. 4 Duke plays at No. 3 North Carolina in the regular-season finale, and it appears possible he will play in that game.
Laettner, meantime, said he hopes Williamson remains healthy “for the next five years” so fans can see his exploits in the NBA.
“I’ve never seen anyone 6-8, 285, but what he is is he’s the most explosive, powerful, bouncy, quick, fast player that I’ve ever seen and I hope he doesn’t get hurt for the next five years because if he stays healthy for the next five years, we’re going to see some incredible dunks and blocks.
“I think people don’t give enough credit to his defensive play. He’s going to be able to block shots in the NBA, he’s going to be able to block dunks so it’s going to be fun to be able to watch him play.”
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Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.