Hey, Knicks fans: Zion Williamson even amazes Mike Krzyzewski


We went looking for wisdom from the man who has won more basketball games than anyone in history. As reference points go, Mike Krzyzewski is about as good as it gets, since he’s been winning games in bunches for 40 years, starting out at a place, West Point, where winning games on occasion has been the trick for most of its coaches.

So after Krzyzewski walked off the Madison Square Garden court with the 1,111th victory of his career, his 1,038th at Duke, we wanted to know: What makes Zion Williamson the freakish force of nature that he is? How do you explain the power, the strength, the leaping ability, the force?

Krzyzewski smiled.

“Did you see him?” he asked.

Yes, sometimes it’s best to keep it simple. A player as unique as Williamson, it’s best to let your eyes do much of the explaining, because there’s only so much you can read and hear about him. You really do have to experience him.

You have to see him intercept an alley-oop pass — think about it: how many times have you ever seen that? — at a point so far north of the arena floor it looks like he’s scraping the ball off the Garden’s pinwheel ceiling. You have to see how he handles alley-oops aimed at him that really aren’t that well-executed — and it doesn’t matter, because he grabs them out of the sky and slams them home anyway.

Zion Williamson professes Knicks love after putting on show at MSG
Zion Williamson professes Knicks love after putting on show at MSG
The one that had Krzyzewski shaking his head after Duke’s 69-58 win over previously unbeaten Texas Tech was a sequence in the second half when Williamson grabbed an offensive rebound, missed a couple of times, grabbed his own rebounds in traffic and was finally fouled on his fourth jump.

“That flurry …” Krzyzewski said, smiling, shaking his head. “I mean … he’s 18. What were you doing when you were 18? If you were 18 right now you’d probably be playing Fortnite, not going up time after time with all these men.”