Zion Williamson is a freak of nature. That much is not in question. 18-year-olds shouldn't be allowed to have his combination of raw strength, leaping ability, and show-stopping play. However, he, like all basketball players, is not perfect. His ball handling and shooting need major work, and he lacks a defined position.
ESPN, as well some NBA scouts, have unfortunately been caught hook, line and sinker in the wave of Zion hype. A scout allegedly says that watching Zion play is "not even fair" while Duke teammates have already started calling him "Zanos", a play on the super villain Thanos.
Medcalf: Welcome, college basketball fans, to the Zion Williamson Show https://t.co/6hSqqu443k— Myron Medcalf (@MedcalfByESPN) November 2, 2018
ESPN has tried this nonsense before with Trae Young, and the second half of Young's college career at Oklahoma was a disaster. When Young was leading the country in both scoring and assists, ESPN went as far as to create a Trae Young "stat tracker" that popped up in Big 12 games.
After a 12-1 start, Oklahoma sputtered out of control, going 6-13 in the remaining 19 games, partially due to the Young hype suffocating the team.
Young was selected 5th in the NBA draft and then traded to the Atlanta Hawks, so this media infatuation may not impact Zion's pro potential. However, the constant noise round Zion could end up distracting on a young Duke team.
Instead of a Fab 5 that makes the championship, Duke could exit the tournament quickly if the Zion hype isn't taken care of.