Last month, Zion Williamson marveled at the strength of his new teammate, Steven Adams: “Steven is strong. I thought I was strong, but you know, seeing it up close, on the same team now, it’s crazy. Steven is really strong.”
But I wonder if Zion remembers this play, from less than a year ago, when he revealed his own strength to Adams:
I will level with you: This footage disturbs me. It thrills me, but it disturbs me. That’s a 6-foot-11, 265-pound, consensus one-of-the-strongest-dudes-in-the-league gliding out of bounds after a shoulder bump from a teenager.
Maybe the best testament to Adams’s strength is that he managed to stay upright. The same cannot be said for some of Zion’s recent victims, like Derrick Favors on Tuesday night. Putting Adams and Williamson on the floor might doom you to some grotesquely ’90s spacing, but that doesn’t matter if Zion can just flatten a (6-foot-8, 265-pound) defender and continue eerily floating upwards to get a clean shot off. If you want to stand next your massive buddy who also lacks a jump shot, simply move the inconvenient defender 10 feet away. Battering rams can create space, too.
Over the weekend, Richuan Holmes (6-foot-10, 235 pounds) was banished from the free-throw line to the bottom of the stanchion as Zion rumbled towards the hoop. This is violence. The rest of the Kings’ front court fared similarly whenever asked to prevent Zion from getting from point A to point B.
Williamson (cube) is not shaped like anyone else in NBA history. His career goals should be uniquely tailored, too: Put every active NBA big man on his ass at least once. Join me in keeping track.