“We are comparing Zion to Zion,” Gentry told reporters after making the inevitable comparison himself.
The 19-year-old rookie made his preseason debut Monday night for New Orleans, finishing with 16 points, seven rebounds, three assists and three steals in a 133-109 road win over the Atlanta Hawks.
“There’s very few guys — at 19 years old — who can come in and impact this league,” Gentry said. “There’s one in California but there’s also not anybody like him.”
And Williamson’s debut scheduling wasn’t an accident. After all, 16 years ago to the day, James made his NBA preseason debut.
“They shouldn’t do that [comparing],” Gentry said. “We are not doing that. We are comparing Zion to Zion. We want Zion to be the best Zion Williamson that he can be. Not anybody else. We want him to be the best basketball player he can become using his name and no comparison.”
He continued: “I know that it’s inevitable that that’s going to be the case, but we are not drinking that Kool-Aid.”