Four lottery picks were on display at Madison Square Garden on Thursday night, but the buzz in the building surrounded Duke’s freshman Zion Williamson, who many Knicks fans are hoping will become the team’s first top lottery prize since Patrick Ewing.
Williamson started off the night with a highlight-reel dunk, on his way to posting 17 points and 13 rebounds in 25 minutes before fouling out with under four minutes to play.
Knicks President Steve Mills was in attendance, as were Emmanuel Mudiay and Kevin Knox.
Knox chilling at the Duke game with his headphones on pic.twitter.com/Hgz3ISQKKR
— Knicks Film School (@KnickFilmSchool) December 21, 2018
After the game, local reporters were ready to ask Zion about playing for the Knicks.
“This is the Garden,” Williamson said, via Jeff Borzello. “A lot of greats have come through here. My favorite great to come through here was probably Bernard King because my stepdad talked about him a lot how he just put the ball in the basket. … I had to go watch his highlights. He could really score the basketball. He was incredible how he did it.”
Williamson was asked directly about maybe someday playing for the Knicks, a question he ducked by looking at his teammate before asking RJ Barrett if he wants to play for the team that calls Madison Square Garden home. The potential number one overall pick then gave the appropriate answer by stating he would be happy to play for the Knicks or any team that drafts him.
Duke turned the hyped night into a win over Texas Tech. However, both Cam Reddish (1-7) and RJ Barrett (7-22) struggled from the field, while committing a combined 12 turnovers. The best player on the floor might have been the lottery pick projected to be drafted behind the three Duke prospects, and that was Jarrett Culver from Texas Tech. Culver had 25 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists in the loss.