LeBron James calls Zion Williamson ‘special’ after pair’s first clash

That was until Zion Williamson was drafted first overall by the New Orleans Pelicans in 2019.

The former Duke sensation earned comparisons with James due to their similarities in physicality, explosiveness and effectiveness.

And after the pair’s first NBA clash — in which James’ Los Angeles Lakers won 118-109 — the 17-year veteran heaped praise on the 19-year-old.

“The kid’s special. We all know that and every game is going to be another opportunity for him to get better, a learning experience for him,” the 35-year-old James told ESPN.

“But in today’s game, where it’s a track race, it’s fast paced, high tempo, it fits his game perfectly and the way that they play fits his game perfectly cause in the first eight seconds, they’re trying to score and score and score.

“But the kid is special, and they’ve got a good one in him.”

Williamson comes off the court after his shoe falls off.

Approval from the King

Following a summer of hype and anticipation, fans were forced to wait for Williamson to make his NBA debut after a knee injury sustained in the last pre-season game required surgery.

The Lakers had played New Orleans twice already this season, winning both while Williamson recovered from surgery on October 21.

Sabrina Ionescu makes history just hours after speaking at the memorial for Kobe and Gianna Bryant

After being eased into action by head coach Alvin Gentry, the rookie has been on a tear of late.

He notched another 29 points against the Lakers Tuesday night, his fifth straight 25-point game, and is now tied with Luka Doncic (2018-19) and…

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