NEW ORLEANS — Zion Williamson started his one hundredth profession NBA recreation in becoming fashion, ending a lob from Jose Alvarado for his first bucket Monday night time.
Williamson completed it with 23 factors, eight rebounds and a career-high-tying eight assists and three blocks because the New Orleans Pelicans held off the Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder, 105-101.
Williamson’s milestone recreation has been a very long time coming — it has been 1,042 days since his debut on Jan. 21, 2020, as accidents have derailed a lot of his profession thus far, together with lacking the whole 2021-22 season with a foot damage.
However Williamson stated that point away from the courtroom has made him a greater particular person.
“It’s been a long journey,” Williamson stated after Monday’s win. “Would I have liked the journey to have gone like that? Absolutely not. I wish I could have played every game.
“However on the finish of the day, I am nonetheless grateful that I went by way of that. As a result of it helped me understand quite a bit mentally, spiritually and simply rising as a person.
“So for me to finally hit a hundred games … Think about it, I’m on three coaches. This is the first year where the locker room has looked somewhat the same players-wise. The thing I can take away from that is it’s just good to kind of have just steady people around me now.”
With 100 video games lastly below his belt, this is how the start of Williamson’s profession has stacked up in opposition to the all-time greats. Trace: Zion has some traditionally elite firm.
Williamson is averaging 25.2 factors on 60% capturing for his profession. No participant to debut within the shot-clock period has ever averaged these numbers by way of his first 100 profession video games. Actually, the one gamers with these numbers over any 100-game span within the shot-clock period are Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal, Kevin McHale and Wilt Chamberlain.
Williamson (2,524) is the twelfth participant in NBA historical past with 2,500 factors in his first 100 profession video games. He is the primary participant since Michael Jordan to perform the feat. The others to drag it off: Chamberlain, Walt Bellamy, Oscar Robertson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, George Mikan, Rick Barry, Elvin Hayes, Elgin Baylor, David Thompson and Billy Knight. (Thompson and Knight performed within the ABA previous to their NBA debuts.) All gamers apart from Knight are within the Corridor of Fame.
Williamson has 42 profession video games with 20 factors within the restricted space. No different participant to debut during the last 25 seasons has performed it 10 instances by way of their first 100 profession video games.
Williamson has scored 1,898 profession paint factors. Over the past 25 seasons, the one participant to attain that many within the paint over any 100-game span is O’Neal.
Williamson has 54 profession video games with 25 factors and 50% capturing, tied with Abdul-Jabbar for the second-most by any participant by way of his first 100 profession video games within the shot-clock period; solely Bellamy has extra (57).
Williamson has 98 video games with a minimum of 10 factors. Amongst gamers to debut within the final 25 seasons, solely Joel Embiid (98) and Blake Griffin (99) can match Zion.
Williamson scored a minimum of 20 factors in 83 of his first 100 video games. That is probably the most of any participant by way of their first 100 video games since Jordan (85).
ESPN Stats & Data’s Matt Williams contributed to this story.