Zion Williamson has amazing explanation of what it’s like playing in Boston originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Monday night’s game between the Boston Celtics and New Orleans Pelicans was just the second game Zion Williamson has played at TD Garden since being selected No. 1 overall in the 2019 NBA Draft.

His first game in Boston came during the 2020-21 season. It was actually the Celtics’ first home game with fans in the building after some of the COVID-19 restrictions had been lifted.

Williamson was able to get the full Garden experience Monday night, and it sounds like he was quite impressed.

“It’s dope. We was talking about it before the game. This is a dope ass arena,” Williamson told reporters postgame, per AP Radio Network’s Gethin Coolbaugh. “Playing here and their fan base shows them a lot of love. When you’re in an environment like this, your basketball blood can’t help but come out.”

Unfortunately for Williamson, his Pelicans blew a 17-point lead and lost 118-112. He played pretty well, though, scoring 26 points on 11-of-18 shooting along with four rebounds, three assists and two steals in 31 minutes.

Williamson and Celtics star Jayson Tatum didn’t play together at Duke — Tatum played there during the 2016-17 campaign before being drafted No. 3 overall by the Celtics, while Williamson played there during the 2018-19 season. But Tatum’s love for the Blue Devils will last forever, and Williamson appreciates Tatum showing him around campus before his freshman year.

“He’s been a great dude and has been since Day 1,” Williamson told reporters when asked about Tatum. “Early in the summer, during K Academy, right before my freshman year, (Tatum) came back and it was me, JT, Amile Jeffesron and Cam Reddish. JT and Amile took us around Durham and showed us the local spots and stuff like that. From Day 1, JT has been solid.”

Tatum remembered that experience with Williamson, and he also noted how it’s important to him to mentor the players coming through Duke.

“I remember being there with Amile and Zion, I think it was right before school started when he was about to be a freshman,” Tatum said in his postgame press conference, per CLNS media. “Just with any guy who goes to Duke, you want to pay it forward. The guys who looked out for me when I was at Duke, Jahlil Okafor, Jabari Parker, guys like that.

“You just want to have an open door type of mentality with guys who come after you who are going to be on that same path. He had one of the best years in college basketball for anybody. An unbelievable guy and player. I’m happy for him, and I’m excited to see the things he continues to do.”

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