Zion Williamson

Zion Williamson joins Jayson Tatum among latest Jordan brand signings for Nike

Zion Williamson joins Jayson Tatum among latest Jordan brand signings for Nike

Nike's Air Jordan brand has enjoyed a successful summer adding NBA stars to its roster.

Zion Williamson, the No. 1 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft by the New Orleans Pelicans, has officially joined Jordan brand, the company announced Tuesday.

“I feel incredibly blessed to be a part of the Jordan Brand family,” Williamson said in a Nike statement. “Since I was a kid, I dreamed of making it to the league and having the type of impact on the game Michael Jordan had and continues to have today. He was one of those special athletes I looked up to, and I really can’t express how happy and excited I am for this journey.”

The list of talented basketball players who recently have become Jordan Brand athletes is quite impressive, and it includes Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum. Boston's 21-year-old star signed a deal with the company in June.

Tatum isn't the only Celtics player on Jordan Brand's roster.

Newly signed point guard Kemba Walker also is one of the brand's top stars. Tatum even tried to recruit Walker to sign with the Celtics in NBA free agency during a Jordan event in Paris last month.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

Kawhi's decision - not Zion's first game or an earthquake - rocked the NBA landscape

Kawhi's decision - not Zion's first game or an earthquake - rocked the NBA landscape

LAS VEGAS -- The earth moved in a way few anticipated at the Thomas & Mack Arena on Friday night. 

And it had nothing to do with Zion Williamson’s much-anticipated summer league debut with the New Orleans Pelicans against his former Duke teammate, New York Knicks guard R.J. Barrett. 

It wasn’t the aftershocks of a 7.1 earthquake in Southern California that was felt all the way to Las Vegas, either. 

The NBA landscape took a dramatic and unexpected turn late Friday night/Saturday morning when Kawhi Leonard hitched his lot to the Los Angeles Clippers and he’ll be joined by Paul George, who was acquired by the Clippers via trade from the Oklahoma City Thunder. 

The particulars as to what the Thunder received for George, a top-five MVP candidate this past season, are irrelevant. 

More than anything else, Leonard's decision - and his ability to get the Clippers to go out and land Paul George - is an impressive power move by the reigning NBA Finals MVP.

And it certainly is a jab at LeBron James, who was hopeful that Leonard would pick the Lakers over the Clippers and Toronto Raptors, who Leonard led to the franchise's first NBA title last month.

For the second time in the past three years, LeBron James was LeBron James’d by another player. 

Kyrie Irving’s decision to demand a trade out of Cleveland unexpectedly a couple of years ago was very much a LeBron James-like move. 

And Leonard indicating to the Clippers that he would reportedly come only if they traded for Paul George - which they did successfully -  was very much the kind of power move we’ve seen James execute in the past. 

Just when it seemed the Lakers were one Kawhi commitment away from being the best team in the NBA, now, they’re not even the best team in their building. 

And this is why the NBA is the best league in America. 

Because on a night when a transcendent player of Zion Williamson’s caliber plays his first game and has quite a few highlight-worthy plays, it becomes such a minor footnote because Leonard’s decision provided the kind of NBA fireworks we’ve come to expect. 

The aftershocks postponed the New Orleans vs New York game that eventually was won by the Pelicans, the outcome really didn't matter in the grand scheme of things. 

Because on this night, Kawhi's long-awaited decision was what really rocked the NBA landscape, delivering aftershocks that will be felt for quite some time. 

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

A. Sherrod Blakely's NBA Mock Draft 7.0: All over but the picking

nba_mock_draft_7_chevy.jpg
USA TODAY Sports photo

A. Sherrod Blakely's NBA Mock Draft 7.0: All over but the picking

BOSTON --  Workouts for draft prospects are a thing of the past now. All those months spent by NBA executives and bleary-eyed scouts watching one video after another of some wannabe NBA baller have come to this.

The NBA draft will kick off in earnest tonight, a draft many expect will include teams flipping picks the way the Phoenix Suns hire - and fire - coaches (they’re on No. 8 within the past 11 years).

In what most agree is a good, but not great, draft, those teams with multiple first-round picks, such as the Celtics, are doing what they can to unload their first-rounders in hopes of landing more seasoned talent.

Still, that was the case in 2016 when the Celtics last had a trio of first-round picks and were eager to trade at least one of them before winding up with Jaylen Brown at No. 3, along with Guershon Yabusele (No. 16) and Ante Zizic (23) in the first round.

Boston may once again wind up with three first-round picks, all of whom will be selected from a similar pool of talent because of each pick’s proximity (Nos. 14; No. 20 and No. 22) to one another.

Regardless, the Celtics focus remains on figuring out the best way to bolster a roster that’s now in serious transition.

And the first real crack at doing that begins now.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.