‘Almost Wasn’t Fair’: Reggie Miller Details How Zion Williamson Is Officiated Like Shaquille O’Neal

Published 05/13/2021, 12:58 PM EDT
Jan 30, 2021; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson (1) reacts after making a free throw in the third quarter against the Houston Rockets at the Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports


Pelicans drafted Zion Williamson in 2019 while he continued to set the league on fire. Being an offensive monster inside, he takes the game to his opponent every fortnight. The officials had a tough time in handling Shaq because of his brute strength, and Reggie Miller described how Zion fits the bill.

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Notably, the Pelicans are outside the playoff rankings while Zion is out with a broken finger. Despite his deficiencies in shooting the mid-range, the Pelicans need him to be fit. Not only he is good at converting points but also reliable in the defensive aspect of play. The power forward is good at breaking boards and influences his teammates with highlight plays.

Jan 15, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson (1) dunks to score a basket against the Los Angeles Lakers during the first half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Reggie Miller draws comparisons between Shaquille O’Neal and Zion

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In a recent interview with Dan Patrick, Miller pointed out the improvements that Zion could make to his game. He stated:

“I think with Shaq, Shaq was so much bigger than everyone else, and so much more powerful, it almost wasn’t fair. I think what David Griffin and the Pelicans, and to Zions credit, is what they are doing is planting a seed for years to come because until he develops that outside jump shot, you and I have talked about it many of times.

If they can’t solve what he is doing in the paint if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. The reason why he gets his shot blocked the most is because that’s where his bread and butter is, that’s where his candy land is. It is in the paint.” said Miller. 

Notably, Miller commented on how Zion can improve his game by developing a jump shot. By adding a shot off the dribble, he mentioned how that would be a new arsenal in his skill set, as well as kept the defenders at bay. Being compared to Shaq is understandable because Zion matches in all the physical attributes.

What is the future for Zion Williamson and Pelicans?

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With Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball, the Pelicans are building a team for the future. They are trying to fill up spots to contend, for a playoff run. Meanwhile, Zion averages 27 points, and 7.2 rebounds per game, while having a field goal percentage of 61.1%. There is no chance of stopping him when he drives forward to the rim. But because of his weak jump shot, teams now focus on how to stop him in the paint.

The Pelicans have their work cut out as Zion is out injured. While they consider him to be a prospect, other players need to step up in his absence. In a random prediction into the future, Zion has all it takes to be the next Shaquille O’Neal.

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Jacob Gijy

111 articles

Jacob Gijy is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Gijy finished his Masters in Counselling Psychology and worked in a hospital for 2 years before his passion for sports compelled him to find his way to sports journalism. A fan of the great Tim Duncan, he is always ready to pick up a debate with anyone who does not offer the centre the respect he deserves.

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