Charles Barkley: ‘Crazy’ to think Zion Williamson will dominate right away
Zion Williamson is unquestionably the top talent in the 2019 NBA Draft and the consensus No. 1 pick, but Charles Barkley nevertheless has cast doubt on whether the phenom will be able to come in and immediately dominate the league.
“As an undersized power forward It would have been more difficult for me today trying to guard 3s and 4s out on the floor,” Barkley recently told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “He seems like a great kid but this notion that he’s going to come in and dominate the NBA is crazy.”
This is not the first time that Barkley has questioned the presumed seamlessness of Williamson’s transition to the NBA game. Back during March Madness, Barkley made similar assessments of Williamson to those made this week.
“I think the way the game is played now, he’s going to be chasing threes and fours (small forwards and power forwards) on the floor, it’s going to be difficult,” he said during a CBS and Turner media event ahead of the 2019 NCAA Tournament, via USA Today. “I’m smart enough to know as a basketball player, it would have been more difficult for me to defend threes and fours in today’s game, than just getting in the box and beating the hell out of each other. I don’t know if he’s going to be a three or a four, and that won’t be easy.”
The New Orleans Pelicans, not the New York Knicks won the draft lottery and the opportunity to select Williamson, much to a fan of the latter’s chagrin. While it’s been a source of some drama, Williamson will of course be an NBA star attraction wherever he plays.
Barkley, as an outspoken analyst on TNT and elsewhere, has of course turned making outrageous hot takes into an art form. That said, it’s not unreasonable to suggest that an incoming rookie could conceivably struggle a bit at the onset.
Barkley is obviously not saying Williamson is destined to be a bust, which would be absurd. Instead, Barkley is merely suggesting Williamson may need time to adjust to the pros.