NBA, NCAA Basketball

How to explain Zion Williamson to your friends who don’t watch basketball

We’re all going to be talking about Zion Williamson a lot more. Here’s how to keep all your friends who don’t watch sports in the loop.

Zion Williamson will officially return to action for Duke Thursday night after missing five games because his shoe exploded and he tweaked his knee. You already know that Williamson is, statistically, one of the greatest college freshmen in history, that he’s going to be the dominant storyline for the ACC Tournament, the premier character in this year’s NCAA Tournament and likely one of the most high-profile rookies in NBA history next season.

But Bill from accounting has no clue who he is, your mom is going to be calling to ask who he is when NPR runs a piece on before the Final Four, and at some point you’re going to have to explain to everyone else in your Dungeons and Dragons campaign why you keep calling your barbarian warrior as “Zion-esque.”

Here’s how to introduce Zion to anyone in your social circle who hasn’t already caught the fever.

For your friend who only talks about Top Chef: Zion Williamson is like Joe Flamm’s “tortellini en brodo” except he comes to your house to cook it and then you, him, Tom, Padma and Gail polish off a couple bottles of Masseto Merlot and revel in the mild buzz with some afternoon bocce ball.

For your friend who carries a copy of Infinite Jest everywhere they go: Zion Williamson is like when you hit your 10th read through and you start to find notes in the margin that you’ve forgotten you wrote, and then all of a sudden it’s like you’re having a conversation about the book with your own subconscious.

For your friend who is REALLY worried about Brexit: Zion Williamson is like…uh…well, he’s not like European politics or economic debates at all. You might want to watch a Duke game. Could really lower your stress level, dude.

For your friend who just digs classic cars: Zion Williamson is like taking a time machine back to the late-70s and a drive-in outside Austin, TX and there’s this squirrely dude in a silver 1970 Chevy Chevelle SS 454 and you punch him in the nose, roll him out onto the pavement and grab his keys. Farrah Fawcett (or Rick Springfield, if that’s more your friend’s style) notices and comes running over to hop in the passenger seat and then you peel out and hit the highway and somewhere, in the distance, a coyote howls.

For your friend who is really into NCIS: Zion Williamson is like a poor man’s Mark Harmon but, like, for dunking.

For your grandparents: Zion Williamson is like getting a prompt and hand-written thank you note from a grandchild, along with a request to join them for an appointment the next time the StoryCorps booth is in town so you tell them all about how life was like back in your day.

For your friend who is only into auteur filmmakers: Zion Williamson is like if David Lynch got to make a movie with a Martin Scorsese budget and everyone in America had to watch it and reconcile the inherent surrealist nature of the universe and the way that has fractured the collective identity of modern society.

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For your friend who is already trying to pin you down for a few Phish shows on the 2019 summer tour: Zion Williamson is like being at Sugarbush for the 1994 summer show and the edibles kick in right as you hear the first notes of Maze towards the end of the first set.

For your friend who just likes CrossFit: Zion Williamson is like rolling one of those giant tires around, or whatever. I don’t know. (Do you even want to be friends with this person, honestly?)

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