Kiwi NBA star Steven Adams has conceded he may no longer be the strongest player on his team anymore now that he’s at the New Orleans Pelicans, instead giving the title to star teammate Zion Williamson.
Adams and Williamson make up a formidable front court for the Pelicans at game time, weighing a combined 249kg to be the heaviest starting power forward and centre combo in the NBA.
Adams warned they aren’t the usual big men combo basketball has slowly moved away from, though.
"The comparison shouldn't be the two bigs, say traditional, like the average team back in the day," Adams told ESPN.
"It's still a bit different from that ... even when [Williamson is] on the perimeter and stuff, he still has a natural gravity to him."
During Adams’ seven years at the Thunder, he built a reputation of being a brick wall for his team by setting screens that caught the attention of stars like Jimmy Butler, who notably said after one game in 2018 he thought his “life was over” after running into the Kiwi big man.
“That motherf***** is strong, I’m serious,” Butler said at the time.
But now Adams – who has also been voted the past four seasons as the league’s toughest player by NBA general managers – has told ESPN he isn’t the strongest guy in the room.
"Oh I still think he's stronger," Adams said.
"[Williamson] is definitely more impressive than me, yeah."
Adams heaped praise on his new teammate who many believe could develop into a genuine NBA superstar.
"The dude's explosive as hell," Adams told ESPN. "He's like 300 pounds or something, too. But he moves so quick."
Adams’ first season with the Pelicans since being traded last year has been tough so far with the team sitting 12th in the competitive Western Conference with a record of 11-13.