Hello Darkness My Old Friend

This photo just made Georgian center Goga Bitadze everyone's favorite NBA Draft prospect

June 19, 2019

Since November, the 2019 NBA Draft has been about one man and one man only: Zion Williamson. The most impressive physical specimen to hit basketball since would-be Pelicans teammate Anthony Davis (alas), you simply can't talk about what the NBA will look like come October without first discussing Zion's ridiculous dunks and toothy grins. But the extent to which Zion has dominated media proceedings ahead of Thursday's draft didn't become fully clear until this hilarious and heartbreaking photo of Georgian center Goga Bitadze—who drew the short straw of having to sit next to Zion at Media Day on Wednesday—hit the internet, sending basketball Twitter into its usual state of histrionics and hyperbole.

In a flash, Goga became the latest graduate of the "Hello darkness, my old friend" school of hard knocks and the collective basketball world's little brother—a plucky underdog to pull for and, if necessary, pat on the back. The Airbud to Zion's Monstars, if you'll excuse the jumbled '90s kid analogies. As the already iconic image made the rounds, Twitter quickly became a single voice chanting a single mantra: Go Goga.

This isn't exactly Hoosiers, though. Goga is a 6', 11" center with the ability to stretch the floor with his three-point shooting. He's still 19 and is rumored to be in play for both the Spurs at 19 and the Celtics at 20, which, last time we checked, are two pretty good franchises to get in on the ground floor with. So despite Zion hogging every breathalyzer mic and iPhone input in Brooklyn this week, don't feel too bad for the poor old puppy dog named Goga. The ceiling, as Michael Jordan once said, might be the roof for him yet.

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