‘Doing Nothing Special’ – Knicks Legend Charles Oakley Not Impressed by Zion Williamson

Published 04/27/2021, 2:00 PM EDT
New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson shakes hands with New York Knicks forward Julius Randle (30) after overtime at Madison Square Garden. The Knicks won in overtime 122-112. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger/POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports


Zion Williamson is primed to become an NBA superstar. The former Duke sensation has been making waves in the NBA this season. Last year, Williamson was the number one overall pick in the NBA draft and went to the New Orleans Pelicans. Williamson struggled with injuries during his first season with the Pels. But this year, he has been shattering records with his play. However, one NBA legend isn’t too impressed with him.

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Charles Oakley is not a fan of Zion Williamson

New York Knicks legend Charles Oakley had some thoughts to share about Julius Randle and Zion Williamson. Oakley was impressed with the way Randle has played this season and called him better than Zion. He then doubled down on his criticism of Zion, noting that he is successful because of the way players guard him. If they were to close out space for Williamson, he wouldn’t be as successful.

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Oakley said, “I think he’s a better version of Zion Williamson to me. Because he can do more. Zion Williamson. … I said last year, (the Knicks) didn’t have a superstar. And now they got a superstar. (Zion) ain’t doing nothing special. He’s just putting the ball down, guys they don’t slide no more. They reach in and then look behind like, ‘Oh, I thought I had help.’ There ain’t no help. Keep him in front for 2-3 dribbles, you might have help.”

Williamson and Randle playing at All-Star levels

These comments should be taken with a grain of salt. Firstly, while Randle has been excellent this season by becoming an All-Star for the first time, he has also had more time to develop than Zion. Zion is in his second NBA season, whereas Randle is in his sixth season. However, Randle deserves all the credit he is getting for transforming his level of play and making a major jump in his career.

Jan 19, 2021; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson (1) dunks the ball during the first quarter against the Utah Jazz at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Mandatory Credit: Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

Williamson, in just his second season, is an All-Star. He became one of the youngest All-Stars in NBA history this season. But his performances haven’t helped the Pelicans. The Pelicans are still struggling to get into the playoff picture. They are hoping that Zion along with Brandon Ingram can lead the team into the top 10 of the Western Conference to get into the play-ins.

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Can Zion Williamson lead the Pelicans to the playoffs this year? His numbers are excellent this season, but they need to translate to wins. With the final stretch of the season coming up, Zion will have to step up his game.

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Aaditya Krishnamurthy

1223 articles

Aaditya Krishnamurthy is an NBA & NFL journalist for EssentiallySports, before which he worked at BusinessWorld magazine. He has been a fan of Basketball for over 10 years now, since Shaquille O’Neal was a Phoenix Suns player. During his time at Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts, he started a sports magazine for the college called the Overtime Tribune and hosted the Overtime Tribune Podcast until he graduated.

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