The late Kobe Bryant had great words of wisdom for 19-year-old Zion Williamson. The Black Mamba felt that Zion shouldn’t be bothered by all the noise around him and focus on his game.
During a 2019 interview with ESPN’s Mike Greenberg, Kobe Bryant spoke about the hype surrounding sensation Duke Zion Williamson. All basketball fans had their eyes glued to the TV screens to find who would land Zion in the 2019 NBA Draft.
Former National College Player of the Year was a physical specimen unlike anything we’ve seen since Shaquille O’Neal. A 6 ″ 7 ′ forward who displayed frightening athleticism, Zion was at the box office. Earlier this year, Zion signed a $ 75 million deal with Nike’s Jordan brand.
Although LeBron James was in similar shoes in 2003, the advent of social media made Zion a rage. So when Kobe spoke to Greenberg for an interview in 2019, the GetUp host couldn’t help but ask the Lakers legend about Zion questions.
Also Read: ‘Michael Jordan & Kobe Bryant Were Out Of Control’: Former All-Star Mark Jackson Tells About Toughest Players He Has Played Against
Kobe, who was known to have an incredible mindset and work ethic, passed on a few words of wisdom to the rookie. Having played in the NBA for 20 years, Kobe understood what it was like to be in the public eye.
Kobe Bryant gave the following advice to 19-year-old Zion Williamson.
It’s no secret that Kobe was a student of the game. The 5x champ understood the responsibilities of being a superstar. Thus, the Hall of Famer could impart knowledge to the rookie, who was about to enter the NBA.
“Just focus on the game. It sounds very, very simple. But that’s the challenge. People are pulling you from different directions and you have different opportunities. And it’s good. But you have to lock in and focus on the most important thing which is gambling. ”
Durability has always been an issue for Zion, playing just 24 games in the 2019-20 season. However, the former ACC Player of the Year reportedly posted impressive stats last season. The All-Star averaged 22.5 PPG and 6.3 RPG on 58.3% shooting from the field.
Also read: “I wish we had rules from the Michael Jordan era they are completely different now”: When Kobe Bryant explained how he faced tougher defenses than MJ in the heyday of legend of Bulls
The younger generation of the league has always admired Kobe. Whether it’s Devin Booker, Jason Tatum or Kyrie Irving, each of them embraces the mamba mentality.