The NBA's not just a star driven sport, it's a demigod driven sport. There is always a chosen one, and when that one is chosen, Nike's marketing gurus hoist him into basketball's fiefdom. Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James were all anointed deities, and they used their echelon to repay the NBA with ratings, and Nike with revenue. Zion Williamson was supposed to be next, and the NBA readied their initiation process.
And then, this happened...
Wait, not Fyre Fest... I meant this.
So, I wrote this, and shut the TV off:
"Zion will be fine long term. Choosing him to carry the NBA's water for the next decade was the right decision. He played at Duke, the most recognizable college basketball brand in America, he went deep into the NCAA tournament, and he was famous on YouTube for his dunks years before college or the NBA. In a time where Q-rating has never been more valuable, Zion cuts through. Luka Doncic and Giannis Antetokounmpo are fine players, but there's a language barrier, and their European backgrounds will make it tough for non-NBA diehards to catch on compared to Williamson.
But, the way the NBA treated his debut feels a lot more like a sleazy salesman opening up his briefcase full of "precious diamonds" than walking into Kay Jewelers. The league everybody told me was on the cusp of surpassing the NFL is now mortgaging Zion Williamson's health in need of short term ratings.
Tonight was not a good night for the NBA."
Zion scored 17 straight points in the 4th quarter, including 4 for 4 from the 3-point line. The NBA had its own personal Fyre Fest on its hands, and Zion Williamson swooped in like the US government did for AIG during the banking crisis.
This is why he's the next NBA demigod. And you know what? He's not Skip Bayless, Howard Stern or Kanye West. He's Magic Johnson, Paul Rudd or Robin Williams. Lovable, and must see TV.