Zion Williamson and Anthony Davis, two of the most highly touted NBA prospects to come out of college in the last decade, have a little history together.
Davis was the No. 1 overall draft pick by the New Orleans Pelicans in 2012, and Williamson is expected to be the top overall pick by the Pelicans next month.
While they’ve not yet played together — and maybe never will, if New Orleans honors Davis’ request for a trade — they did have an encounter back when Williamson was a child and Davis was a prep superstar. Williamson asked Davis for an autograph, but he was snubbed.
A 2016 documentary by Ryan Currie on Williamson’s rise to become one of the best high school players in the country at Spartanburg High School in South Carolina detailed the encounter.
Williamson, who told the filmmaker he signed his first autograph when he was in the eighth grade, said he idolized some of the up-and-coming high school players when he was a kid.
“You had Jaylen Brown, love his game, Stanley Johnson, John Wall, Anthony Davis — I would always dream of meeting them or getting to see them play in high school, but I never had a chance to,” he said. “But I always told myself, if I worked hard enough, maybe I can get in that type of spotlight.”
Williamson said it “hurt” when some didn’t give him their autograph, so now that he is in the spotlight, he makes a point of not turning any kid away.
“When I was little, I looked up to high school players and would want their autographs and sometimes I couldn’t get it, I’d be hurt,” he told the filmmaker. “I said when I grew up, I don’t want to be like that. I want to sign every kid’s autograph, no matter how long it takes me.”
Two that he called out back in that 2016 documentary were Davis and Wall.
“I try to sign every kid’s autograph,” Williamson said, “because I don’t want to turn a little kid down because I know it will hurt them because it hurt me. Anthony Davis, John Wall turned me down. So I try to sign everybody’s.”
Now, Davis and Williamson are likely to be teammates on the Pelicans — if New Orleans takes Zion with the No. 1 pick.
However, what could be a dynamic duo might never come to fruition as Davis demanded a trade before the All-Star break and has not changed his tune, according to reports.
So will Davis snub Williamson again and leave the Pelicans? Time will tell.
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