“People Called Me CRAZY”: Kendrick Perkins Destroys Zion Williamson While Praising Ja Morant

Published 10/21/2021, 12:00 PM EDT
Jan 30, 2021; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson (1) shoots while defended by Houston Rockets guard Victor Oladipo (7) in the third quarter at the Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports


Young Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans slumped to a poor opening night on Wednesday. Beginning their 2021-22 campaign, the side was humbled by the Philadelphia 76ers. The controversy-filled Sixers rode on a Joel Embiid show to cruise to victory. Meanwhile, Zion missed the encounter due to injury. Owing to his lack of match fitness, analyst-commentator Kendrick Perkins has lashed out, and came in praise of Memphis Grizzlies youngster Ja Morant.

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Over the past few weeks, 21-year-old Zion Williamson has come under a lot of scrutiny. The powerhouse of a forward is a quality player, but only when he is fully fit. This has come as a concern for the Pelicans, who constantly await the star’s returns from injuries. Recently, Zion has also been criticized for reportedly weighing more than 300 pounds. And Perkins took no time to look in retrospect at when he had made a bold prediction.

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LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – JULY 14: Ja Morant (L) of the Memphis Grizzlies and Zion Williamson #1 of the New Orleans Pelicans shoot during warmups before a semifinal game of the 2019 NBA Summer League at the Thomas & Mack Center on July 14, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Kendrick Perkins lauds Ja Morant, hits out at Zion Williamson

Due to a foot injury, Zion missed the Pelicans’ first regular season game. The 2021 All-star averaged 27 points last season, and was termed one of the league’s next big things. On the other hand, his fitness issues have downplayed his talent, and has seen him warming the bench often. Meanwhile, Ja Morant has been phenomenal for the Grizzlies. He was pivotal for them in many key games last year, and destroyed the Cavaliers with 37 points in the season opener.

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Back in 2019, ex-player Kendrick Perkins had boldly claimed that the Pelicans should’ve gone for Morant. Instead, the franchise had opted to acquire the then teenager Zion Williamson as their #1 pick. And according to Perkins, the move hasn’t paid off. In a recent tweet, he said, “Y’all remember when I told the world in 2019 that if I were the Pelicans I would have taken Ja Morant with the Number 1 pick? Remember when people called me CRAZY? Don’t mind me tho and carry on.”

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36-year-old Perkins has delivered an honest statement. Do you agree with his views from 2019? There is no doubt that both the young prodigies are oozing with talent, but it will be vital to see which one of them can sustain this for a longer period.

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Sankalp Harikrishnan

452 articles

Sankalp Harikrishnan is an NBA and Tennis writer at EssentiallySports. He aspires to pursue Sports Journalism and has represented his institution in cricket, badminton, football and table tennis. Sankalp idolises Roger Federer and Stephen Curry, and has an inherent love for statistics.

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