We now know why Zion Williamson turned to the dark side during his highly-publicized recruitment, and it has to do with two former Kentucky stars.
If you ask the New York Post, at least.
In a video published back in 2017 and brought back to life by the New York Post, the future No. 1 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft said in an interview that as a kid, it used to hurt his feelings when his older basketball role models would turn him down when he asked for autographs.
Now that he’s on the path to superstardom, he plans on signing every single autograph asked of him, hoping to give little kids what he wasn’t given growing up.
“When I was little, I looked up to high school players and wanted their autographs and sometimes I couldn’t get it, I’d be hurt,” Williamson said. “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.”
The two allegedly guilty parties? None other than former Wildcats Anthony Davis and John Wall, who supposedly turned him down as a kid and broke his (probably superhuman) heart.
“I try to sign every kid’s autograph,” he said. “I don’t want to turn a little kid down because I know it will hurt them. [It would hurt me if someone like] Anthony Davis, John Wall turned me down. So I try to sign everybody’s [autograph].”
Mind you, the original quote from the New York Post article had the previous excerpt written without the brackets to look like both Davis and Wall had one-on-one interactions with him and they were made out to be the bad guys.
You can hear the entire quote and the context surrounding it below:
Since the story spread throughout the interwebs, Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that Williamson has never actually met Davis or Wall and he was just trying to use an analogy.
Some context on Zion Williamson/Anthony Davis/John Wall autograph story being rehashed: Williamson has never met Davis or Wall, per source close to him. Neither snubbed him. Williamson was providing analogy using athletes he looked up to in high school, on why he signs for kids.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) May 21, 2019
In short, the reported story by the New York Post made to look like Davis and Wall hurt his feelings was not accurate.
So when it came to making a decision, Williamson didn’t hold a grudge against Kentucky. It wasn’t about his heart being broken by two former Wildcats, it was just the ridiculous money Coach Krzyzwhdjfksbqjs threw at him on the recruiting trail that sealed the deal.
It all makes sense now.