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This photo of Zion Williamson is so unbelievable, it looks fake

How is this possible?

I don’t blame you for a second if you think this photo of Zion Williamson is fake.

This isn’t just a case of photographing a perfectly-timed block attempt, it’s really everything that adds to it. Firstly there’s the obvious, Williamson’s hand is a solid two FEET above the rim, but really there’s so much more to appreciate about this photo that you might not notice on first glance.

  1. That Clemson player? He’s not small. That is 6’9 forward Elijah Thomas going up for the shot on Williamson. He weighs 245 pounds. He is objectively a very big dude. This isn’t a case of Yao Ming standing next to Muggsy Bogues, and yet he is still utterly dwarfed by Williamson.
  2. Backboards might need to be redesigned for Williamson. See that coping around the bottom of the backboard? It’s there to stop players hurting themselves, should they somehow manage to get their heads at backboard level. Williamson is about four inches from exceeding that coping on the side of the backboard. Scoff all you want, but remember that the entire concept of basketball goals needed to be reworked after Shaquille O’Neal showed a propensity for bringing them down.
  3. Pour one out for these guys, who were watching the ref and not the block.

4. I’ve never seen a vert like this from a big man. This might be the most astonishing thing. People have tried to define Williamson’s game, comparing him to Charles Barkley or Larry Johnson — but neither Sir Charles, nor Grandmama, had ups like this. His dang feet are up to the shooter’s knees, and he’s jumping too.

5. Williamson will make me care about the NBA dunk contest again, I’m sure of it. You know I’m right and you feel the same way too. If this is what he’s able to do in a game situation then I can’t even begin to imagine what happens when he can prepare with no defender. Heck, he also dropped a 360 in the game — just because he can.

We knew Williamson was going to be a phenom, but nobody is quite capturing the hearts and minds of basketball fans quite like he is, much to the chagrin of his opponents.