As the NBA season prepares to kick-off, Zion Williamson has headlined the rookie class in a way only a few superstars ever have in league history.
So when he sat down for a mini questionnaire with ESPN.com, the world was quick to listen to what he had to say. Perhaps the most interesting bit of information came from a question involving jersey swaps, and Zion was asked which player he’d personally like to swap with.
His answer? The reigning Finals MVP, Kawhi Leonard.
“My favorite player growing up was Kawhi. He’s not going to be a favorite when we play him, but I would appreciate swapping jerseys with him. But he’s also the type of guy who worked his way up. He wasn’t the best player when he first got into the league, but he grinded and put the time in to become the player that he is today.”
It’s true that Kawhi’s path to stardom was not a quick one. The 3x All-Star was averaging just over 16 points per game as soon as four years ago despite preparing to enter his 9th season in the league this summer.
But that reality makes things all the more intriguing. Does Zion admire the slow but steady rise of Leonard’s career? Is he using him as a model for his own work ethic?
Whatever the case, Zion will soon find himself facing off against the NBA great, a guy who was his favorite player just a few years ago.