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Change My Mind: ESPN’s Hype Of Zion Williamson Isn’t Really About Him

Today’s Take: The debut of Zion Williamson is being used to hide the NBA’s biggest problem.

Slice it anyway you like, the simple fact of the matter is The television ratings for the NBA are tanking. There’s a ton of reasons for that, but the one that matters most here is rather simple. The NBA regular season is boring.  By it’s own admission, the NBA is a “star-driven” league which has about 10 players who draw viewers, and they are clustered on about 5 or 6 teams. Halfway through the regular season, we can pretty much figure who the play-off teams will be.

Another fact: ESPN is financially-committed to the NBA in a major cash-draining way. That’s why they have spent all day pimping Zion Williamson’s league debut tonight. Consuming any ESPN NBA content today has been little more than a propaganda campaign to establish that Zion Williamson is “must-see TV;” that the ex-Duke “one-and-doner” has already been crowned as the next “LeBron-level” king of the hardwood.

He may very well be; I don’t have a crystal ball. But what I do know is the level of hype seems a bit much for a guy who does look like a human high-light reel, but we have yet to see him show his high-flying act against something other than 6’4″ accounting majors from Wake Forest or guys now plying their trade for the Maine RedClaws or some other G-League squad.

Not to mention, this seems like a big gamble considering we’re talking about a guy who has had more knee surgeries than full decades of life. The history of this league is littered with big guys who careers suffered greatly once the leg/foot/back injuries started piling up, and Williamson has a head-start on that.

Sure, he may light up the remnants of the San Antonio Spurs tonight, but then what? In the short-term, I understand ESPN’s approach. I wouldn’t be mentioning this if I didn’t have a curiosity factor myself. But to be honest, my curiosity isn’t about Williamson as potentially the next NBA super-star. Frankly, I think he’s Blake Griffin waiting to happen; he’ll be a terrible shooter worth a highlight dunk every night until the injuries ground his high-flying act.

And like me, ESPN’s interest in Williamson isn’t about him either. It’s about how many eyeballs he draws…flame-out or not.

Change my mind.


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About J-Dub

What your view of sports would be if you had too many concussions

5 comments on “Change My Mind: ESPN’s Hype Of Zion Williamson Isn’t Really About Him

  1. I’m looking forward to seeing what this kid can do. And I’ll be watching. But then again, I’m in the minority: an NBA homer.

    For the record, I also have tickets to see the Pelicans (and Zion) in March when they come to Orlando.

    Here’s hoping he can stay healthy ’til then.

    Like

    • J-Dub
      January 22, 2020

      Again, I’m with you on the curiosity factor. But the craziest thing I heard today…”Williamson makes the Pelicans an instant Conference Finals contender. ”

      And to show off my well-known “old-school” mentality (this coming from the man who owns a George Mikan t-shirt)…I don’t trust 7-footers who can’t play with their back to the basket, and I don’t trust forwards who can’t hit a 12-foot shot.

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  2. The league is top-heavy so I suppose anything is possible… other than, of course, the Pelicans making the Western Conference Finals. Houston’s horrible and they’re still considerably better than New Orleans, as is Denver, Dallas, Utah, and even OKC and San Anton, never mind the two teams from Los Angeles.

    ‘Tis a bit premature to crown the guy, but still, 17 straight points in the 4th? That’s a fun debut.

    Like

    • J-Dub
      January 23, 2020

      True. He almost scored the same number of points as pounds he needs to lose.

      Like

  3. Pingback: Zion Williamson and the art of the rebound | Sports Chump

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This entry was posted on January 22, 2020 by in NFL, Sports and tagged , , .

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