This is why we can’t have nice things in sports. All we want to do is compare and contrast them, breaking them down to the point where we can’t simply enjoy the beauty of the object for what it is.
That’s why I’m putting an end to the Zion Williamson vs LeBron James debate right now. Because Zion is poetry in motion on the basketball court and comparing him to LeBron will sully what could be the most marvelous individual spectacle March Madness has ever seen.
And yet we all know, the first time Zion explodes into the air, using his tree-trunk legs to elevate his 270-pound frame into the stratosphere for a thunderous dunk, the first things the talking heads on TV will do is pontificate on how much Zion reminds them of a young LeBron James (if LeBron was left handed) and how Zion is the most exciting NBA prospect since LeBron James and how Zion is better or worse than LeBron at his age.
Is some of that true? Yes. Zion is the most exciting NBA prospect since LeBron and, yes, their body types do have certain similarities (LeBron is taller by a couple of inches and Zion is thicker than LeBron was at his age, but they are similarly large people who can jump higher than what is seemingly possible for men of that size). But just because they have certain similarities doesn’t mean we need to put these two men in a box, shake around their positive and negative abilities as players, and decide who is better. They’re both great in their own way and they both should be appreciated in their own way.
The LeBron James vs Michael Jordan debate has been so overdone it’s hard to believe Skip Bayless still has something to say on the subject, but he always does. Let’s be better than that with Zion Williamson during Duke’s run in March Madness. Like taking 10 steps back when you look at a painting from Vincent van Gogh (please do this and don’t stand one inch away from the painting the next time you’re at an art gallery), sitting back and enjoying the gracefulness with which Zion plays basketball is the best way to savor the final games of his one season in college basketball.