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Martin Devlin: The extraordinary pulling power of NBA star Zion Williamson

Author
Martin Devlin,
Publish Date
Fri, 24 Jan 2020, 1:48PM

Martin Devlin: The extraordinary pulling power of NBA star Zion Williamson

Author
Martin Devlin,
Publish Date
Fri, 24 Jan 2020, 1:48PM

All hail the new King Zion Lateef Williamson, the 19yo NBA superstar who finally made his on-court debut yesterday 13 weeks and 2 days into the season.

Eighteen odd minutes for 22 points, most of those scored in a frenzied 3min fourth quarter burst before being withdrawn under doctor's watchful orders.

The attention and scrutiny on this young man almost defies belief. I say "almost" because he's also the latest and greatest example of this new direction sport is taking where the individual and individual moment is increasingly more important than the competition, the match and yes, even the result itself.

Yesterday's contest, not that anyone will remember, was between Zion's Pelicans and San Antonio's Spurs. Neither team is having a great season, both well below the .500 line in terms of wins, struggling to stay in touch with the leaders and will be lucky to make the playoffs where if they do it'll be a predictable 1st-round loss at best.

But that didn't stop 165 single game media passes being issued, compared with just 25 of these credentials for every previous NO home game this campaign. The pulling power of the #1 draft pick, who remember up until yesterday hadn't played a single NBA game, is just extraordinary. 

When his capture was confirmed another 12,000 Pelicans season tickets were sold in the first week alone while 10,000 fans turned up just to watch his first team practice.

He has 4.4m online followers and his jersey has already outsold all the other 1st-round picks combined. Zion Williamson is absolutely perfect for the new 30 second attention span dickpic Instagram generation. 

Remember the name, not the team, remember the name, but never what they might collectively achieve. This is the dumbing down of sport where everything is reduced to postcard size.

It's all and only all about highlights, superstar players and spectacular plays.

Where sport is becoming less and less about the game, the series or contest and increasingly reduced to a tweet, a meme, an instagram moment.

ON AIR: Overnight Talk

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