New Orleans Pelicans Head Coach Alvin Gentry insisted that people shouldn’t compare Zion Williamson to LeBron James.

Much like what James did in his rookie year, 19-year-old Williamson is also making noise early in his first NBA season. However, coach Gentry isn’t encouraging the comparisons and wants the rookie out of Duke to focus on becoming a great player using his “own name.”

In an interview with ESPN hours before the New Orleans Pelicans played their first preseason game, Gentry first acknowledged the similarities of Williamson’s rookie season to James’ several years ago.

"There's very few guys, at 19 years old, who can come in and impact this league. There's one in California (James) but there's also not anybody like him (Williamson)," Gentry said.

Despite being open for the inevitable, Gentry insisted that people shouldn’t compare James to Williamson. According to the veteran coach, the Pelicans are working towards building Williamson’s own name and comparing him to other stars wouldn’t help them at all.

"They shouldn't do that [comparing]. We are not doing that. We are comparing Zion to Zion. We want Zion to be the best Zion Williamson that he can be. Not anybody else. We want him to be the best basketball player he can become using his name and no comparison. I know that it's inevitable that that's going to be the case, but we are not drinking that Kool-Aid," Gentry exclaimed.

Zion Williamson Duke
Zion Williamson #1 of the Duke Blue Devils reacts against the Syracuse Orange during their game in the quarterfinal round of the 2019 Men's ACC Basketball Tournament at Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, March 14, 2019. Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Just over a week ago, Gentry has made it clear that they don’t need Williamson to be the franchise savior. Instead, Pelicans will support him in his journey to become a great player in the NBA, USA Today reported.

"We’re not going to ask him to put on a cape and fly in and save our franchise. He's going to be a really good player, and every single day he’s going to work at getting better, and to me that’s the most important thing right there,” Gentry pointed out.

But Houston Rockets legend Kenny Smith already believes that Williamson is an extremely unique player. In fact, a ccording to Smith, Williamson has to “find a niche” for his game to be recognized in the league as nobody else plays the way he does.

“I think Zion is gonna have to find a niche, cause what he does doesn’t exist. The way he plays, there’s no one in the history of the game that plays that way,” Smith said.

LeBron James
LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers looks on during the first half of a game against the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center in Los Angeles, March 4, 2019. Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images