Zion Williamson

Jeffrey Becker - USA TODAY Sports

Zion's star power continues paying dividends for Pelicans


By: Mark Menard

"Out of all the professional leagues, I think [the NBA] is the most star-driven."

That was an observation made Monday night by New Orleans Pelicans color analyst Antonio Daniels on WWL Radio, and it's why he believes when the Association's return is finalized, the Big Easy's franchise will be in the mix somehow, some way.

And for that, you can thank the young star at the center of the team's rebuild.

"Zion [Williamson] is a draw," Daniels said. "You can talk about the LeBrons and the James Hardens and the Giannis Antetokounmpos and the Kawhi Leonards. You can throw Zion's name in there. There's very few guys in the NBA right now that you can recognize with one name. You can say 'Giannis.' People know who you're talking about. You can say 'Luka.' People know who you're talking about. You can say 'LeBron.' People know who you're talking about.

"If you say 'Zion,' people who know you're talking about. This young man is as talented as they come, and NBA fans want to see more of Zion Williamson."

Daniels also said that if the Pelicans are in that number, whether the NBA resumes with 20, 22, or all 30 of its franchises, then New Orleans will have a legitimate shot at earning a postseason berth.

"If you're gonna bring teams back, you have to bring them back with some incentive," Daniels said. "There has to be something that players have to play for, whether it's an opportunity to make the playoffs or whatever that may be. Because it's gonna be difficult to ask guys to go through five weeks of training and then come back with no incentive because then you'll lack star-power in those games."

You can hear Kristian Garic's full interview with Daniels from "Sports Talk" by clicking the podcast link.

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