Zion Williamson Overtakes Michael Jordan and Shaquille O’Neal and Sets a Shot Clock Era Record

Published 02/17/2021, 10:11 PM EST
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


Zion Williamson is living up to every expectation that the NBA scouts bestowed upon him. The 2019 #1 draft pick is the leading scorer for the Pelicans and also a consistent match-winner for them. If not for him, the Pelicans wouldn’t even have been able to dream of qualifying for the playoffs in the ruthless WC.

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However, Zion’s efficient numbers are adding less to his team’s ranking and are reflecting more on his personal achievements. Lately, the man of the hour has been breaking records earlier set by league legends. 

Zion Williamson ahead of Michael Jordan and others on some parameters

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The 20-YO prodigy just played his career’s 50th game, and he did it in style. In the blowout victory against the Grizzlies, Zion Williamson scored 31 points, 7 rebs, and 6 assists. With that, he left behind the likes of Michael Jordan and Shaquille O’Neal in a rare NBA record.

Zanos now has the most 20-point games on 50% FG after the first 50 career games in the past four decades of the league. Although he and Shaq tie the record at 34 such games each (five ahead of MJ), it is just Zion who has achieved this feat on 60% FG in the Shot Clock Era. Now, finding one’s name with the legends so early in one’s career is not a minor achievement, and there’s much more to come for Zion.

Who else does the Pelicans’ big boy compare against?

The fact that the Pelicans coach Stan Van Gundy is using Zion very efficiently at both ends of the court speaks volumes about Zion’s abilities. The big man is well past the injury concerns that bogged him down, and he is moving better than he was last season.

In a recent interview, celebrated basketball coach David Fizdale gave an interesting comparison, and stated, “He reminds me so much from a skill standpoint, with power, of Charles Barkley… Barkley had handle, Barkley could bring it coast to coast… he was unstoppable 101 on the post, he can pass the ball out of the post, and he was a relentless competitor, he was physical. So when I look at Zion, I see that body of work.”

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It will be interesting to hear Charles’ response to this on his Inside the NBA show for NBA on TNT. 

In addition to that, former NBA Champion Kendrick Perkins drew comparisons between Zion’s agility and Joakim Noah’s and added, “That body type, that’s a freight train coming, but I’m more impressed by his footwork and how mobile he is at that size. He reminds me of Charles Barkley, yes, but he also reminds me of a 9-YO kid Kingston Perkins… he is special.”

Can Zion continue to perform at the highest level while managing to push ahead? And can his personal accolades help the Pelicans in rankings? 

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Read also – Stats Proving That Zion Williamson Is Better For New Orleans Pelicans Than Anthony Davis

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Sourabh Singh

1109 articles

Sourabh Singh is an NBA sports analyst for EssentiallySports, who has been working with the site since May 2020. Prior to this, he functioned as Managing Editor at WittyFeed, followed by a stint at Decathlon. The Sports Management graduate leads an active lifestyle, veering to the mountains for off-trail adventures.

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