Here's why Zion Williamson said in high school that he'll always sign autographs for kids, and it has renewed significance

Zion Williamson is going to be the No. 1 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft next month, which means, barring a trade, he'll be joining the New Orleans Pelicans

During last week's highly anticipated NBA Draft Lottery, the Pelicans won the top pick for the second time in franchise history. It was a bit ironic, as the last time they had the No. 1 pick, they used it to take Anthony Davis, and the star big man is in the middle of a months-long process to try and force his way out of town. 

It, of course, remains to be seen whether the Pelicans will go through with a trade to honor Davis' request, or if they'll keep him for at least the start of the season to see what it looks like with him and Williamson on the floor together. But if Davis does leave before ever suiting up with the Duke prodigy, it apparently won't be the first time he has snubbed Williamson. 

In a recently unearthed documentary from Williamson's high school days in South Carolina, the big man talks about his relationship with young fans and explains why he always signs as many autographs as he can. According to Williamson, Davis and another No. 1 overall pick out of Kentucky, John Wall, both turned him down for autographs when he was young, and he didn't want to do that to any other kids. 

The discussion about autographs starts at about the 4:45 mark in the video below:

Williamson's full quote: 

"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 says on camera. "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."

"I try to sign every kid's autograph. I don't want to turn a little kid down because I know it will hurt them because it'd hurt me (if) Anthony Davis, John Wall turned me down. So I try to sign everybody's."

Now, of course, this has nothing to do with whatever relationship they have now, and it won't impact any sort of trade proceedings. If anything, the main takeaway from the video and this clip in particular is that Williamson seems to be a good dude with a big heart. 

Still, it's pretty funny how things play out like this. First, the Pelicans get the No. 1 pick for the first time since they took Davis, and it happens during the summer where Davis is expected to be traded. And then a video emerges where the player they're expected to take this time talks about Davis snubbing him for an autograph when he was a little kid. What are the chances? 

It is worth noting that Williamson, according to The Athletic's Shams Charania, has never actually met Davis or Wall, and thus neither actually snubbed him. 

Rather, Williamson was using an analogy with athletes that he looked up to in high school as rationale as to why he signs autographs for kids.

NBA Writer

Jack Maloney lives and writes in Milwaukee, where, like the Bucks, he is trying to own the future. Full Bio

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