Last season, Zion Williamson seemed to be the next athlete to take LeBron James‘ place as the face of the NBA. Even though it was only his rookie season, it cannot be denied the spike in viewership and ratings he had whenever he stepped on the court. From his time at Duke, Zion has captured the fan’s attention with his explosive plays (and shoes), remarkable size, and dazzling smile. Even though everything seems to get old within a few weeks nowadays, Zion appeared to be holding the basketball spotlight for the foreseeable future. That is until LaMelo Ball threw a behind-the-back pass to his teammate in a preseason game.
While neither player is having a bad season by any means, it goes to show how quickly the media spotlight can turn, especially for athletes. The Charlotte Hornets are ninth in the Eastern Conference while the New Orleans Pelicans are fifth in the competitive Western Conference. As Zion leads the Pelicans in points, LaMelo leads the Hornets in both assists and steals. Both players seem to be a perfect fit for their team and while LaMelo is only in his first year, seems to be progressing nicely. Both players seem to have the “it” favor, whether it be from flashy passes or remarkable dunks, neither seems to be a bust.
ATHLETES AND MEDIA ADAPTION
With how much the media has impacted our viewership and recognition of athletes over the years, the question is, when will it be enough. From high school (and now middle school) athletes have a spotlight on them in sometimes more negative ways than positive. Zion was first seen in high school dunking over what looked like middle schoolers. From his start at Duke to posturizing dunks almost every night in the NBA, he appears to have competition for the spotlight with the youngest Ball brother, only a year later. While both of these NBA players seem to have bright futures, will there be another player talked about next year? Thanks to the ever-changing sports media cycle and desire for anything new, most likely.
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