Zion Williamson has been compared to Blake Griffin since his explosive collegiate season at Duke. The two are almost inarguably the best dunkers to enter the NBA in recent memory, and it’s only fitting that they will now be listed together in the league’s record books.
On Friday, Williamson scored his 1,000th NBA point. He became the fastest player to achieve the feat since Blake Griffin did it during his rookie year. Both took 44 games to reach 1,000 points, and are the only active players to get there so quickly. The all-time record is 28 games, held by Wilt Chamberlain during his 1959-60 rookie season. The points, predictably, came on a dunk.
While Williamson and Griffin reached 1,000 points in the same number of games, it should be noted that the New Orleans Pelicans have been far more careful with Zion’s workload than the Clippers were with Blake’s. Williamson had played only 1,290 minutes in the NBA entering Friday. Griffin played well over 1,600 in his first 44 games.
While minute-tracking was far less sophisticated during Chamberlain’s era (and, in some cases, not tracked at all), the gap between time and Zion in reaching 1,000 points gets much smaller based on the number of minutes Wilt played early in his career. While there is no listed minutes total for the 28th game in which he scored his 1,000th point, Chamberlain averaged 46 per game in his first 27. That would get him to 1,242, right in Williamson’s neighborhood.
Williamson still has a long way to go if he plans to match Griffin or Chamberlain in overall career achievements, but he’s off to the same sort of start that they were. Teams have no answer for Zion near the basket, and as long as that remains true, he is going to continue racking up points at an absurd pace.