Zion Day

Tonight is the night that we find out where Zion Williamson will be going.

Jim Rome
May 14, 2019 - 10:02 am
Zion Williamson

USA Today


Today is Tuesday, but let’s be real: today is Zion Day. As in Zion Williamson Day. Because tonight is the NBA Draft Lottery. And tonight is the night that we find out where Zion Williamson will be going.

There hasn’t been a bigger, more anticipated draft lottery since LeBron James was coming out and maybe even before that, back to Pat Ewing and the frozen envelope, allegedly. STAY IN SHOES, STERN. YOU’RE RETIRED AND NO ONE MISSES YOU. OR CARES WHAT YOU THINK. ANYWAY…

The most exciting of the realistic options according to the odds is Atlanta. The Hawks have a 10.5% chance of getting the first pick. And if they do, look the hell out.

Can you imagine Zion and Trae Young together for the next 10-15 years? Throw in John Collins and the ATL would be the new Lob City. The Atlanta Highlight Factory would be back and better than ever.

The Bulls have a 12.5% chance of getting the number one pick and honestly, if they do, well, who cares. Pretty much no one. 

And then there are the three teams with the best chance. The three worst teams all have a 14 percent chance tonight. Cleveland could cap off one hell of a 48 hour period by getting John Beilein followed by Zion Williamson. I have no idea what that would mean, but I’ll be damned if it wouldn’t be interesting.

Then there’s Phoenix, who actually needs a point guard more than they need Zion, but there’s no way you turn down Zion, right? They would then have a roster that includes Devin Booker, DeAndre Ayton, Zion Williamson, and more. No wonder Monty Williams wanted nothing to do with the Lakers. Well that, and the fact that they’re a bleep show. 

And then there’s the third team with the best chance. The New York Knicks.

Zion Williamson, New York Knick. Can you imagine the reaction in the city if that happens? Hit it Alvin! GO NEW YORK GO NEW YORK GO. 

That song would be echoing throughout the city. Winning the lottery tonight would be the Knicks biggest win since they actually won an NBA title nearly half a century ago.

The Knicks need this. They have to have it. Not because the state of the franchise depends on it. It doesn’t. The Knicks have been wildly overrated and tremendously unsuccessful for years, and they’ve kept on rolling. No, they need to win tonight because they need to win something.

Win the draft lottery tonight and you should raise a banner in the rafters at MSG, right next to that Billy Joel banner. What does it say about your basketball team that a piano player has put more banners in the rafters lately than your basketball team has?

And because the Knicks need this so badly, the New York Post has enlisted the help of a priest, a rabbi, and witches “to break the Knicks’ curse” ahead of the lottery.

Look, I know that’s just a newspaper trying to get some free pub and move fish wrap. But the Knicks don’t have a curse. At least not one that you can remove with a priest, a rabbi, or witches. They just have a terrible owner. It’s that simple.

It would be a lot cooler if Jerome James did put a curse on Madison Square Garden. Or if Eddy Curry cast a spell on the court on his way out, but that didn’t happen. The Knicks problems aren’t because of some bitter old Knicks player, but because of a bitter old Knicks owner. The Knicks are terrible because he’s terrible. And has a history of hiring terrible people.

And here’s why I don’t want Zion going to the Knicks. That’s why we need to summon all our forces to make sure that the Knicks do not win the lottery tonight.

Don’t get it twisted. I don’t hate Knick fans. I like Knicks fans. I want nothing but good things for them. The problem is, when good things go to the Knicks, they become bad.

Everything that’s gone to the Knicks has become terrible. And we can’t afford to have Zion become terrible.

He is a generational talent. In any normal world, it would be incredible for him to go to New York. The biggest young star in the biggest city would be amazing.

But in this world, in the one where the Knicks have been a mess for decades, Zion going there will only result in sorrow and tragedy. As a freshman at Duke, he proved to be a transcendent player, but transcending the Knicks might be too tough for even Zion.

The only good thing about the Knicks possibly winning the draft lottery is that they might actually trade that pick. That’s how Knicks they are. Because as you’ll recall, the Knicks have the possibility to sign two max free agents this summer. So if you can sign two max free agents and trade the Zion pick to get another, then you’ve got yourself a super team.

Get the best player in generations and then trade him away because you think you can win now. That would be so Knicks and so awesome. And the only thing more Knicks and more awesome than that would be to get the first pick and the chance to have Zion, trade him, assemble some Frankenstein super team that ends up right back in the lottery next year. That would so Knicks. Go New York! Go New York! Go!