Zion Williamson has been blessed with some pretty broad shoulders. On them, he carries the weight of major expectations. Williamson enters the NBA with as much hype as any rookie in recent memory — since the turn of the century, you can make the case that only LeBron James and perhaps Anthony Davis have generated as much excitement since their entry to the league as the former Duke standout.
Of course, part of the reason Williamson is carrying such heavy expectations is he’s headed to a New Orleans Pelicans squad that needs someone to become the new face of their franchise. That’s because Davis forced his way out of town to join James and the Los Angeles Lakers. But thanks to a haul of youngsters and picks in exchange for Davis, along with some ping pong balls bouncing the right way and an impressive group of veterans, it’s not hard to foresee the Pelicans’ rebuild being completed quickly.
All of it revolves around Williamson, who’s taking everything in stride. This shouldn’t come as a huge surprise to anyone who has looked at his Twitter account lately and seen his pinned tweet, a post from 2016 in which he called his becoming a household name while he was still in high school.
A big personality and a potential colossus on the floor, Williamson is a star before he ever plays a regular season game. Until then, he’s doing things like teaming up with Mountain Dew. As part of the partnership, Mountain Dew and Williamson came up with an idea to paint a mural on a basketball court in his hometown of Spartanburg. The mural draws from Williamson’s love of superheroes and comics.
Dime caught up with Williamson to talk life in the league, shocking the world, and the best thing he’s eaten since getting drafted by a team located in perhaps the best culinary city in America.
What do you have going on with Mountain Dew?
Well, I partnered with Mountain Dew because I love how they dig into the lifestyle within hoops and hoopers, and what I have going on with them is we went to Spartanburg, where the world found out who I was. They made a nice mural with the artist Ceaux Young out of New Orleans, and it’s real special. They did a superhero theme, that refers back to the lifestyle part, personality, because they know that I like superheroes, comics, all that stuff. For them to go into that much detail about what I like and go back to the city where my name was made, it means a lot.
How important is it that this is happening in Spartanburg?
It means a lot. That’s where the world was introduced to Zion, that’s where the really found out who I was, so it means a lot to go through this process.