Zion Williamson Wanted to Go Back to Duke, But No One Would Let Him

Stephen Douglas
Zion Williamson
Zion Williamson / Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Zion Williamson, who continues to inch towards his NBA debut, appeared on JJ Reddick's latest podcast on THE RINGER!!! Podcast Network. Reddick asked Williamson about his desire to return to Duke for his sophomore year. The 19-year old confirmed that he wanted to stay at Duke for another year, but no would would allow it, including Coach K and his mom.

This is fascinating. Zion Williamson really wanted to stay at Duke. His mother told him it was his choice and he chose Duke and then she spoke with his stepdad and they decided differently. Because he had worked too hard to wait until he was 20 to become a millionaire. Seems reasonable, considering he's been working towards this since he was four or five.

This was the NCAA's one shot. Their one chance to have a legitimate argument against paying the players. The surest thing to come through college basketball in decades and he wanted to stay and play for free and his own coach wouldn't let him. What a missed opportunity.

You have to wonder what would have happened if Zion had been allowed to stay. Would the Pelicans have passed on Ja Morant since they already had Lonzo Ball? Would Zion be dealing with the same injury at Duke? Would he have spent the year getting healthy and going to class and ended up on the Warriors next season as Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson returned?

You know what? Let's never speak of this again. Just shake the hand of Coach K, and Zion's parents the next time you see them. We all owe them a debt of gratitude.