Zion Williamson compares his career to that of Naruto: ‘For a while nobody took Naruto seriously…and he came back at 16 years old, goated’

Jonathan Sherman
2 Min Read
Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

New Orleans Pelicans star Zion Williamson has a lot to prove heading into the 2022-23 NBA season.

While nearly all NBA fans agree that Williamson has the potential to be a generational superstar, the Duke University product has not yet proven that he can stay healthy and remain on the court.

In a recent interview with Tres Dean of GQ, Williamson revealed that popular anime character Naruto has been an unexpected source of inspiration recently.

“For a while nobody took Naruto seriously,” he explained. “And then he went and trained with [master shinobi] Jiraiya for three years, right? And he came back at 16 years old, goated.”

Williamson believes that he is far from only NBA player who is into anime. In fact, he estimated that 80 percent of the players in the league are into anime.

Given the common storylines of many of the most popular anime shows, it’s not a shocking claim. After all, many anime shows revolve around a young man or group of friends with supernatural abilities. Those main characters must then use those abilities to overcome foes and save the day.

Surely, a player like Williamson, who has been lauded for his abilities on the basketball court, can easily identify with such a storyline.

Right now, the two biggest foes in Williamson’s rise to dominance in the league seem to be his injury concerns as well as the question marks surrounding his commitment to fitness.

Last season, Williamson missed the entire year due to a foot injury. In three seasons in the league, Williamson has only played in 85 regular season games.

He will look to stay fit and healthy in the upcoming season and make major strides to create new chapters in what he surely hopes is his his own story of NBA greatness.

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Jonathan has worked as a sports writer covering NBA and NFL news since 2017. He's a fan of the Los Angeles Lakers and Minnesota Vikings.