Despite never playing a quarter of college basketball, Kobe Bryant believes Zion Williamson should stay on campus.
The NBA legend weighed in on the debate over whether the Duke basketball superstar’s near future in in interview The Undefeated’s Marc J. Spears published Thursday, saying Williamson should return to the Blue Devils, instead of walking away in order to prepare for the NBA Draft. Williamson sprained his knee earlier this month when his sneaker exploded in the opening seconds of Duke’s loss to North Carolina.
Bryant doesn’t agree with those who urge Williamson to end his college career prematurely in order to safeguard his NBA career.
“In terms of Zion, if he’s healthy, he should go play,’ Bryant said. “He made a decision to go to college, and injuries are a part of that process, and sometimes you get hurt, sometimes you don’t, man. But you made the decision to go to college and you made your commitment to the university, then by all means finish your commitment. I expect him to get healthy, get his knee better or whatever it was, and come out and kick a–.”
Williamson is averaging 21.6 points and 8.8 rebounds per game. The 18-year-old is expected to leave Duke after his freshman year and enter the 2019 NBA Draft, where many predict he’ll be among the top three picks.
Williamson hasn’t commented publicly on his immediate plans, but Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski insists the 6-foot-7, 285-pound phenom wants to play as soon as possible. If Coach K’s presumed stance on Williamson returning to Duke isn’t strong enough to sway him, Bryant’s recommendation might just do the trick, if necessary.
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Thumbnail photo via Mark Konezny/USA TODAY Sports Images