Before being drafted first overall by the New Orleans Pelicans in the 2019 NBA Draft, Zion Williamson was one of the most sought after prospects since Lebron James after wowing fans and scouts with his combination of explosiveness, control, physical strength and out of this world hops.
He made his NBA debut on January 22, 2020 with onlookers wondering if he would, in fact, deliver on his freakish potential. Well, as history would have it, the answer was a resounding, “Yes!”
Williamson would finish with 22 points, shooting 8-for-11 (including 4-for-4 from beyond the arc), seven rebounds and three assists, and he did of all this in just 18 minutes of play. Not only did he top Anthony Davis’ 21-point NBA debut, but he became one of the few players to debut with over 20 points while shooting over 70% from the field.
While Zion was being mentioned in Rookie of the Year discussions, he ultimately lost out to Ja Morant due to his shortened season, but a season later the young superstar would be named to the 2021 NBA All-Star game becoming the fourth youngest player in NBA history to do it.
With Williamson emerging as the future face of the NBA, it’s no wonder that Jordan Brand has gone all-in on the the Pelicans forward with the Jordan Zion 1. Williamson signed a deal with Jordan in July 2019.
According to the Jordan Brand, “His shoe is a personal, powerful object that honors family, roots and community; it marks a culmination of one journey and the beginning of his next one…this shoe is very much about the presence of supernatural talent in an otherwise kind and unassuming 20-year old.”
For Jordan’s Senior Footwear Designer, Vianney de Montgolfier, the “Z” provided the perfect icon to build the shoe around.
“We knew that one of Zion’s main inspirations for the look of the shoe was superhero armor. But when we thought about an icon or symbol that could clearly draw out the shoe’s benefits, the “Z” made perfect sense to us,” says de Montgolfier. “It’s the letter for speed, it has the base for power, and it’s maybe the most distinguishable letter in the alphabet. There’s nothing else like it.”
But for the man himself, the shoe is simply about being different.
“You want to be out-of-this-world and different?”, Williamson says. “This is the shoe you put on.”
Back in April, Jordan revealed a number of colorways, including the classic black and white “Gen Zion”, released on April 23rd, which represents the game’s next generation, the Blue Void/Fierce Purple-Indigo Haze-Bright Crimson “ZNA” (released on May 5th), and the Black/Bright Crimson-Amarillo-White “Noah” inspired by his younger brother ( released on May 19th).
The latest colorway, dubbed “Marion”, is inspired by the small town in South Carolina where he grew up and developed his competitive spirit, with the White/Hyper Pink-Dark Beetroot-Metallic Silver sneaker channelling the red clay of his home state.