Zion Williamson on rookie NBA season: This is what the dream was all about
Zion Williamson is still having fun as he prepares for his rookie season in the NBA with the New Orleans Pelicans.
The No.1 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft is under pressure to perform after averaging 22.6 points, 8.9 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 2.1 steals and 1.8 blocks per game in his lone season at Duke last year.
Yet the 19-year-old showed no signs he is feeling the strain at the team's media day on Monday, even if he is only two years removed from playing basketball in high school.
"I'm very excited. This is what the dream was all about," Williamson said. "Making it to the league and having an impact. And the impact starts tomorrow.
"I think when people look at what I'm doing and say it's very stressful, but I’m having fun with it. Like, in all these meetings, when I'm meeting my new team-mates an trying to gel with them, it's a fun process.
"I'm 19. Like two years ago I was a senior in high school and now I'm sitting here. So I think about stuff like that. It's a blessing to be here."
While understanding the NBA is a different in terms of competition, Williamson is confident of thriving in a new environment - and has settled in quickly to life in New Orleans.
"Drew Brees said it best. If you love the city, It'll love you right back," the teenager said. "It's great. I know I'm in the right place with Jrue [Holiday] and JJ [Redick], and E'Twaun Moore. Since I've been here they've been giving me great advice.
"Whenever they think I'm over-thinking things or seem stressed they'll be the first ones to come to be and just say: 'Relax, be you. Just play the game you love.' And it's the small things like that that help a lot, and I just get going.
"I want all the advice I can get because everybody has different perspectives. If I can get advice from multiple perspectives, I can find a way to bring it together and find out what's best for me."