Charles Barkley And Shaq Both Praised Zion Williamson For His Performance Against The Lakers SuperNayr

Zion Williamson was immense in the New Orleans Pelicans’ Play-In Tournament loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night. While the Lakers were able to pick up a 110-106 win in New Orleans, Williamson had one of the best games of his career, as the former No. 1 overall pick went for 40 points on 17-for-27 shooting with 11 rebounds, five assists, a block, and a steal in 36 minutes of work before exiting the final moments of the game with an injury.

It’s a far cry from the last time Williamson played a high-profile game against the Lakers, as the Pelicans were run out of the gym by L.A. in the In-Season Tournament semifinals and Williamson’s performance, in particular, came under a ton of scrutiny. Both Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal tore into him for his performance on that night back in December, but on Tuesday, the pair made it a point to give Williamson his flowers.

“I think tonight, this is my first time I said, ‘Yo, man, this dude might be a star, this dude might be a superstar,’” Barkley said on Inside the NBA. “Because he was dominant, he was explosive, it was fun to watch. He got zero help from the guys who’s supposed to have been giving him help. But you know, Shaq challenged you before the game, saying, ‘Yo man, it’s about time you do your thing.’”

Ernie Johnson pointed out that Shaq wanted to see Williamson score 40 points, which he hit on the nose. As such, Shaq made it a point to say he was “very impressed” by the effort.

Next up for Williamson is getting imaging on the leg injury that sent him to the locker room in the fourth quarter. If he gets the all clear, he’ll suit up for the Pelicans in their game against the Sacramento Kings on Friday night to determine the 8-seed in the Western Conference.

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