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Thread: Zion!

  1. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChillinDuke View Post
    I don't think I've ever seen anything like Zion at any level of basketball. Granted, it's all relative. But Zion relative to his competition, at this level, a very advanced level of basketball, is truly otherworldly.

    I'm not going to debate strongly on the topic. But I will state my opinion. To me, Zion Williamson, assuming he finishes out the season at or above his current level, is the best basketball player that has ever worn a Duke uniform. If you want to talk about Duke careers, Duke legacies, Duke graduates, sure Zion won't qualify. But in terms of players that have stepped onto the court, I've never seen anything like Zion.

    That play last night where he defended the ND point guard at the three point line, denied him two or three separate times on attempted drives only to force him to try a step back long 2 (!) that he emphatically rejected was one of the most incredible sequences I've ever watched in college. And I say that about a defensive sequence! And I also say "one of the most incredible" because there are so many other incredible Zion sequences that compete with it. The Kentucky block/grab into a fast break threaded assist was another. Or the block where Zion looked like he cleared a 50" vertical (forget which game). Heck, there were two or three other sequences in yesterday's ND game that left me speechless.

    I understand my words in this post are strong. And I intend them to be so. I have never seen a human do the things that Zion does, as efficiently as Zion does, as beautifully as Zion does, as (usually) under control as Zion does. Maybe Lebron would have looked like this if he played in college, but we'll never know.

    This is what people mean when they say going to college is the desirable route for high school basketball talent. Zion would be foolish to do as Scottie Pippen said and sit out the rest of the season. Every single time he steps on the court, a new place gets to witness this. He is creating countless fans/observers/stargazers. He is must-watch action. Opposing gyms ooh and aah at his plays when they're not even rooting for him - it's blatantly obvious on TV.

    Zion is staggering. He is absolutely incredible. Words truly fail me.

    - Chillin
    The bolded paragraph is basically what I was going to say. I interpreted the OPs question to be, "Is Zion the best basketball player to ever wear a Duke jersey?" The legacy stuff doesn't factor into answering that question.

    For example, if LeBron played one year at Duke, I would say he is the best basketball player to ever play for Duke. Heck, Kyrie played only 11 games for Duke, and he was top-2 with Grant Hill as best basketball player to ever play for Duke.

    I'm not all the way there yet, but if Zion finishes this year at or above his current level of play, I probably will be.

  2. #102
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    May 2010
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    New York, NY
    Quote Originally Posted by NYBri View Post
    I never saw Bagley do what Zion did on that play...😎
    Well, then, were you watching?

    - Chillin

  3. #103
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    Apr 2008
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    Santa Clara, CA
    Quote Originally Posted by Utley View Post
    I just missed David Thompson. For those that saw them both - how does Zion compare?
    One has to remember that in DT's day, dunking was not allowed. Monte Towe to DT perfected the alley oop. DT was often like poetry, similar to what others have said about GHill on this string. Except, I must admit, DT was better.

    Much of Zion's ferocity and awe factor comes from his dunks. You only saw DT's dunking ferocity in the pros. He wasn't called Skywalker for nothing.

    I will say this - DT *has* to be first team all-time All-ACC, and quite arguably he's the GOAT of the ACC. Zion isn't there yet, even considering individual seasons. He could be, but the season has to play out.

    Also I think trying to compare Zion to DT is like comparing Wooden to K. Can't be rationally done... except for one thing, number of titles (which one has to concede to Wooden). DT has a NCAA title. When Zion has a title, I'll be more than happy to wade into further murkiness!

    9F

  4. #104
    Quote Originally Posted by kako View Post
    One has to remember that in DT's day, dunking was not allowed. Monte Towe to DT perfected the alley oop. DT was often like poetry, similar to what others have said about GHill on this string. Except, I must admit, DT was better.

    Much of Zion's ferocity and awe factor comes from his dunks. You only saw DT's dunking ferocity in the pros. He wasn't called Skywalker for nothing.

    I will say this - DT *has* to be first team all-time All-ACC, and quite arguably he's the GOAT of the ACC. Zion isn't there yet, even considering individual seasons. He could be, but the season has to play out.

    Also I think trying to compare Zion to DT is like comparing Wooden to K. Can't be rationally done... except for one thing, number of titles (which one has to concede to Wooden). DT has a NCAA title. When Zion has a title, I'll be more than happy to wade into further murkiness!

    9F
    Tim Stoddard threw a lot of the ally oop passes to Thompson. Stoddard later pitched in the Majors.

  5. #105
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    Nov 2009
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    Hudson Valley, NY
    Quote Originally Posted by ChillinDuke View Post
    Well, then, were you watching?

    - Chillin
    Every game. Bagley was good, but not like that. 😎

  6. #106
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    Nov 2009
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    Hudson Valley, NY
    Quote Originally Posted by kAzE View Post
    This is pretty damn impressive: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ZQJzI572Gc

    He beat 3 UNC players for the first rebound off Grayson's shot, then went back up for the put back on his own shot before the 4 UNC players in the paint even realized it was a miss.

    Bagley's second jump actually is quicker than Zion's. But Zion is more explosive and he's much stronger.
    Different kind of play. Apples and oranges. 😎

  7. #107
    Quote Originally Posted by Acymetric View Post
    It seems like in terms of most talented ever, we're probably looking at a list like below, with a fair drop-off after that point. List is loosely in chronological order as I try not to forget anyone.

    Grant Hill^
    Johnny Dawkins
    Christian Laettner^
    Elton Brand^
    Carlos Boozer
    Shane Battier
    Jason Williams^
    Zion Williamson
    Jason Tatum
    JJ Redick+
    Bobby Hurley+^
    Kyrie Irving*

    *Undoubtedly one of the most talented basketball players to attend Duke University, but can't go on my Mt. Rushmore with so few games played here
    +These guys are borderline but I think belong in this list out of respect
    ^These players all suffered significant setbacks due to injury and would have had much more impressive pro careers otherwise (which we have to factor in or else Jason Williams wouldn't make the list)

    I think Grant Hill should be consensus. A lot of us agree that Zion projects to be there as well. At that point, filling the last two spots is essentially splitting hairs, and depends a lot on how you define "talent" and the weight you give to various accomplishments (championships, college awards, pro awards, etc.) and how you weigh peak performance vs. longevity/consistency, as well as how willing you are to project forward for younger guys like Tatum. Also, please call me out if I forgot someone!
    Gene Banks was pretty good...

  8. #108
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    Apr 2008
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    Santa Clara, CA
    Another thought because I'm into this topic... And please don't rain hate on me, because I love watching Zion, too, and I'm ecstatic he's on this team, but:

    - FT shooting
    - 3pt shooting

    needs work.

    Not to say he can't improve, but I'm not expecting to see it do so while he's in a Duke uniform. Does that mean he's not one of the greatest players to have put on a Duke jersey? No. But some of the other guys one could mention in the discussion - Redick, Laettner, Battier, etc. - would win these rounds against Zion. Doesn't mean he's can't be labeled the greatest. Heroes usually have an Achilles' heel...

    Also no one can deny Shaq was one of the greatest of all-time, and he sucked at both. Chamberlain, too. But maybe that's why they are often discussed for GOAT of the NBA but never actually picked. Just saying. And if Zion is reading this, I hope it stokes his fire to improve on both!

    9F

  9. #109
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    Apr 2008
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    Santa Clara, CA
    Quote Originally Posted by Indoor66 View Post
    Tim Stoddard threw a lot of the ally oop passes to Thompson. Stoddard later pitched in the Majors.
    True, but Towe was the 5' 7" point guard, lobbing sky high passes to Thompson (with his famous 44" vertical leap)!

    9F

  10. #110
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    Feb 2016
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    Atlanta
    Let's turn this around. Since Michael Jordan is generally viewed as the greatest basketball player of all time (sure some say Wilt or Karrem, but go with me here), and since LeBron never played college ball:

    Was Michael Jordan the greatest basketball to have ever played at UNC?

    Was MJ the greatest basketball player to have ever put on a UNC uniform?

    Is there a difference between the two?

  11. #111
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    Oct 2013
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    Dallas, TX
    Quote Originally Posted by BandAlum83 View Post
    Let's turn this around. Since Michael Jordan is generally viewed as the greatest basketball player of all time (sure some say Wilt or Karrem, but go with me here), and since LeBron never played college ball:

    Was Michael Jordan the greatest basketball to have ever played at UNC?

    Was MJ the greatest basketball player to have ever put on a UNC uniform?

    Is there a difference between the two?
    Obviously, MJ is the best UNC player ever (I purposely worded this ambiguously). It certainly ain't Hansbrough.

    There's no difference between the 2 ways you worded it (assuming you meant "basketball player", and not "basketball").

    The only way you could word it to give to someone not named Michael Jordan is "Which UNC player had the greatest college career?"

    Worded almost any other way, the answer is Michael Jordan.

  12. #112
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    Quote Originally Posted by BandAlum83 View Post
    Let's turn this around. Since Michael Jordan is generally viewed as the greatest basketball player of all time (sure some say Wilt or Karrem, but go with me here), and since LeBron never played college ball:

    Was Michael Jordan the greatest basketball to have ever played at UNC?

    Was MJ the greatest basketball player to have ever put on a UNC uniform?

    Is there a difference between the two?
    Good point. 😎

  13. #113
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    Feb 2007
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    New York, NY
    I'd only add that RJ remains #1A among college freshmen and that it wouldn't surprise me if both Cam and Tre are in the NBA All Star game in 2026. I'm also loving what I see in Marques, etc. Zion remains otherworldly, but the season rides, at least to some extent, on the team's ability to maintain their upbeat collegiality. If Zion can continue to be a great teammate and the team can continue to improve, he will have earned his Rushmore status.

  14. #114
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    Apr 2008
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    Santa Clara, CA
    Quote Originally Posted by kAzE View Post

    The only way you could word it to give to someone not named Michael Jordan is "Which UNC player had the greatest college career?"
    One could also word it, "Which UNC player had the greatest college season?"

    And honestly, I don't think the answer is necessarily Michael Jordan. Which leads to the old joke:

    Q - Who was the person that held MJ to under 20 points per game?
    A - Dean Smith

    Without going too far out on a limb, I'm venturing to guess that at least statistically for one season, there have been many other UNC players with better stats *and* had the natty. Remember in his junior (and last) year, Carolina lost to IU in the the S16 - the Dan Dakich game... so no title that season. I was thrilled that IU beat UNC that year (still remember those final moments on TV), but we are now paying the piper having to listen to Dakich opine uselessly on ESPN.

    I write all of this because of Zion being a 1AD. As I have said - in order to be fair, one has to compare individual seasons when comparing to any other player. If Duke wins a title this year, I think Zion's season could be better than any of MJ's college seasons (he was not the man his freshman year. Worthy and Perkins were ahead of him).

    9F

  15. #115
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnb View Post
    I'd only add that ... it wouldn't surprise me if both Cam and Tre are in the NBA All Star game in 2026.
    Not to sidetrack us, but I will freely stand up and say I never, ever, ever saw that coming if Tre makes a NBA All-Star game. I think he can be a solid contributor in the pros, but he does not appear to have the physical gifts or the offensive game to develop into an All-Star. I would love to be wrong about this.
    I don't know what you are doing right now, but if you aren't listening to the DBR Podcast, you're doing it wrong.

  16. #116
    Quote Originally Posted by JasonEvans View Post
    Not to sidetrack us, but I will freely stand up and say I never, ever, ever saw that coming if Tre makes a NBA All-Star game. I think he can be a solid contributor in the pros, but he does not appear to have the physical gifts or the offensive game to develop into an All-Star. I would love to be wrong about this.
    I tend to agree with that...and would love to be wrong also. He's several inches and a good three pointer from being an all star.
    Don't waste your time on House of Cards S6!
    -We found out Frank was critical to making anyone else in the show interesting...not a surprise...

  17. #117
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    Oct 2009
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    Durham
    Quote Originally Posted by JasonEvans View Post
    Not to sidetrack us, but I will freely stand up and say I never, ever, ever saw that coming if Tre makes a NBA All-Star game. I think he can be a solid contributor in the pros, but he does not appear to have the physical gifts or the offensive game to develop into an All-Star. I would love to be wrong about this.
    I think he has an outside "shot" (pun not intended). He doesn't hunt for his shot very often with duke, because he doesn't need to. He has this innate ability, like his brother, to know when things are stagnating and he needs to mix it up...otherwise he's a master facilitator. So I think he CAN do some of the things people don't see him do very often, but he doesn't.

    Is 3 + d + excellent distributor + sometimes scorer enough to get on an all star team? If he were a couple inches taller, probably.

    Ultimately I agree with you, he won't be a regular all star, but I also wouldn't be surprised if he made a team once in his career.


    "If you don't address the things you're not doing well when you're winning the winning will eventually stop."

    -David Cutcliffe

  18. #118
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    Dec 2008
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    I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!
    Quote Originally Posted by Acymetric View Post
    It seems like in terms of most talented ever, we're probably looking at a list like below, with a fair drop-off after that point. List is loosely in chronological order as I try not to forget anyone.

    Grant Hill^
    Johnny Dawkins
    Christian Laettner^
    Elton Brand^
    Carlos Boozer
    Shane Battier
    Jason Williams^
    Zion Williamson
    Jason Tatum
    JJ Redick+
    Bobby Hurley+^
    Kyrie Irving*

    *Undoubtedly one of the most talented basketball players to attend Duke University, but can't go on my Mt. Rushmore with so few games played here
    +These guys are borderline but I think belong in this list out of respect
    ^These players all suffered significant setbacks due to injury and would have had much more impressive pro careers otherwise (which we have to factor in or else Jason Williams wouldn't make the list)

    I think Grant Hill should be consensus. A lot of us agree that Zion projects to be there as well. At that point, filling the last two spots is essentially splitting hairs, and depends a lot on how you define "talent" and the weight you give to various accomplishments (championships, college awards, pro awards, etc.) and how you weigh peak performance vs. longevity/consistency, as well as how willing you are to project forward for younger guys like Tatum. Also, please call me out if I forgot someone!
    I do not consider Bobby Hurley borderline at all. He is at the very least ONE OF the greatest college point guards of all time. He played in your shorts defense. He was a one man full court press breaker. He was clutch. His assist numbers are only eclipsed by the manner in which he made some of them - many wrap around passes in traffic that were astonishing. In my mind any all time best Duke team starts with Laettner, Hurley, and Hill. Pick any two to go with them. I can't believe I need to defend Bobby Freakin' Hurley! Sheees. Legen.......dary!

  19. #119
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    Durham, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by Reddevil View Post
    I do not consider Bobby Hurley borderline at all. He is at the very least ONE OF the greatest college point guards of all time. He played in your shorts defense. He was a one man full court press breaker. He was clutch. His assist numbers are only eclipsed by the manner in which he made some of them - many wrap around passes in traffic that were astonishing. In my mind any all time best Duke team starts with Laettner, Hurley, and Hill. Pick any two to go with them. I can't believe I need to defend Bobby Freakin' Hurley! Sheees. Legen...dary!
    Maybe this wasn't clear, but in the chain of posts between me and the poster I was quoiting, they are weighting pro career success heavily and my lists/comments in response are based on accepting that premise (not saying I think that is the best way to evaluate players, but in this case those are the rules I'm playing by). You don't have to defend Hurley to me. Context matters.

  20. #120
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    Feb 2008
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    Lewisville, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by uh_no View Post
    I think he has an outside "shot" (pun not intended). He doesn't hunt for his shot very often with duke, because he doesn't need to. He has this innate ability, like his brother, to know when things are stagnating and he needs to mix it up...otherwise he's a master facilitator. So I think he CAN do some of the things people don't see him do very often, but he doesn't.

    Is 3 + d + excellent distributor + sometimes scorer enough to get on an all star team? If he were a couple inches taller, probably.

    Ultimately I agree with you, he won't be a regular all star, but I also wouldn't be surprised if he made a team once in his career.
    Brother Tyus is carving out a nice niche, currently getting 20+ minutes a game. I could see something similar for Tre, possibly a little higher upside due to his defensive ability and somewhat better athleticism. Tyus has the edge from 3-points, and at the foul line; it would be great to see Tre progress in those areas.

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