Wizards

Quick Links

Why Zion Williamson vs. Ja Morant is the next great NBA rivalry

ja_vs_zion.png
USA TODAY Sports Images

Why Zion Williamson vs. Ja Morant is the next great NBA rivalry

Everyone knows the name Zion Williamson. He's grown bigger than college basketball, whether you like it or not.

But the beauty of March is not in the goliaths, but the Davids; a chance to stand on the top pedestal and garner the attention they deserve.

Enter, Ja Morant. A star in his own right and the future rival of Duke phenom Williamson, who just so happened to grab your attention with a triple-double in No. 12 seed Murray State's first round over No. 5 seed Marquette.

Now, I'm not sure whether "Ja vs. Zion" has a nice ring to it, or sounds more like a bad, low-budget superhero movie on SyFy. "As the evil Ruler of All Attention, King Zion tries to hold on to his reign of college basketball, while Ja, the leader of underdogs and hero of The State of Murray, looks to dethrone the mighty ruler and take his place as leader of the Madness of March realm".

Ugh, yeah it's definitely a bad movie title, but also on it's way to being a great rivalry in the NBA. 

Zion will likely go No. 1 overall, and Ja should be No. 2.

From highlight dunks like this...

Or quotes from NBA MVP's like this from Steph Curry..

That transition to the NBA isn't going to be difficult at all for him

Morant is showing this isn't just a one-star NBA Draft coming this summer.

First, think of the storylines. "Superstar from basketball powerhouse against a small-school player with a chip on his shoulder".  That's what made Manning vs. Brady great for years (except for the whole small school thing, just replace that with "late round draft pick". You get the idea).

Imagine these two in the dunk contest next year, rebuilding interest among bored NBA fans. HINT: this is where you insert that wide eyes emoji for extra emphasis.

If "Zion vs. Ja" (okay, it's starting to sound better already) is a matchup of the No. 1 and No. 2 overall picks, every game is a comparison of the two. Every matchup is one trying to show up the other. Every postgame interview is about how their new rival played and what it means for their future in the NBA. 

Oh, and FYI: Zion and Ja played on the same AAU team.

Can't make this stuff up folks. 

Neither Williamson nor Morant is afraid of the spotlight. In fact, they both embrace it. They also embrace the responsibilities that come with it, which is why the two seem destined for stardom at the next level.

Right now "Zion vs. Ja" or "Ja vs. Zion" may sound like a bad movie title, but soon it'll be the next great rivalry in the NBA, and it has all the storylines to guarantee it being a box office hit. 

MORE WIZARDS NEWS: 

Quick Links

Former Wizard Marcin Gortat announces retirement

Former Wizard Marcin Gortat announces retirement

Long-time NBA veteran, and former Wizard, Marcin Gortat is retiring from the NBA, the center announced in a video via the Polish news station TVP.

At 35-years old, the big man had been out of the league this season following spending 2018-19 with the Los Angeles Clippers. In the video, Gortat mentioned that he gave himself the year off to weigh his options, and he now realizes it is the right time to hang it up.

A 12-year career, the "Polish Hammer" was a consistent and reliable force down low for the four teams he played for. Some of his best years came in D.C. with the Wizards. In five seasons with Washington from 2013-18, Gortat averaged at least 10 points in four seasons and played in at least 75 games in all five campaigns. 

His time with the Wizards also included three trips to the postseason. Gortat was traded to the Clippers for Austin Rivers following the 2018 season and was waived in February of 2019. 

An intense competitor, some NBA players have already begun to share their appreciation for Gortat, and more are sure to chime in.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Capitals and Wizards games easily from your device.

MORE WIZARDS NEWS:

Quick Links

Florida Gators mascot weighs in on Bradley Beal's All-Star snub

Florida Gators mascot weighs in on Bradley Beal's All-Star snub

On the eve of the NBA All-Star game, Bradley Beal attended a basketball game at his alma mater instead of preparing for the NBA All-Star game. 

Beal, of course, was not named an All-Star despite displaying the highest scoring average ever for a player not named to the league's midseason exhibition. 

Beal felt disrespected by it, his fiancee Kamiah Adams and his agent Mark Bartelstein were certainly mad about it, Moe Wagner faulted himself and the rest of the Wizards for the All-Star snub.

You can now include the University of Florida mascot as someone who's less than pleased with the NBA's head coaches for failing to vote Beal in as an All-Star reserve. 

In a tweet from Adams, Albert the Gator is holding up a sign that says, "Bradley Beal should be an All-Star. #SNUBBED."

Beal spent his freshman season playing at Florida before he was drafted third overall by the Wizards in 2012. 

Whether you think Beal was snubbed or believe winning should be valued more than counting stats, it's hard to ignore just how many people have made it clear they disagree with Beal's exclusion from All-Star weekend. 

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Capitals and Wizards games easily from your device.

MORE WIZARDS NEWS: