They celebrated each other, but their love for their parents had everyone choked up.
The NBA Draft wasn’t much of a surprise during the first three picks.
As expected, Zion went first to the Pelicans, followed by Ja Morant to Memphis and R.J. Barrett to the Knicks. But what got everyone all up in their feelings was the way the NBA crafted the Draft into a celebration of family. The players walked across the stage and down the steps to their respective seats, accompanied by their parents and other loved ones, a first for the annual event.
Of all of those celebrations, it was the emotions of Zion and R.J. when it came to their mother and father, respectively, that had everyone all up in their feelings.
After being selected first by New Orleans, Zion went over to be interviewed by Maria Taylor, and he could barely speak during the interview as he struggled to express just how much his mother, standing by his side, meant to him.
NBA on Twitter
An emotional @Zionwilliamson discusses his journey to becoming the #1 overall pick in the #NBADraft! https://t.co/J9zpyqE4HN
Not to be outdone, his Duke teammate, R.J. Barrett, was selected with the third pick by New York, and he let it all out on his father’s shoulder as his father expressed how proud he was of his son.
NBA on Twitter
@RjBarrett6 & his father reflect on being drafted into the NBA! https://t.co/RFFALx8MCX
It was a night to celebrate the young men being drafted, but it was also a night to honor the men and women who helped get them to this point; those who did everything they could, and needed to, to help them accomplish their goal of playing in the NBA.
With that in mind, crying is 100% allowed.