Weight issues have followed Zion Williamson around for years. Dating back to his time as the best player in all of college basketball during his stint with Duke, the one consistent knock on him was how his body would hold up long-term under all that mass. Amidst all the talk about his girlfriend and how President Barack Obama felt about him, the biggest worry everyone had was how his weight would impact his health.
Surely enough, after getting drafted by the New Orleans Pelicans in 2019, the downside of a guy that big moving the way Williamson does ended up catching up with him.
He missed a good chunk of his rookie season, and when he finally returned to the team later in the NBA Bubble, it was clear that Williamson was far from being in the shape he needed to be in.
This week, during the most episode of Brian Windhorst & The Hoop Collective, Windhorst described just how drastic the situation got and how much New Orleans wanted to keep it under wraps.
“I was told that Zion, and I don’t think they really wanted to publicize where he was physically when he came back to the bubble, but I have heard that it’s in excess of 25 pounds that he’s lost from where he was in the bubble to where he is now,” Windhorst said on his podcast.
“He is not as svelte by any stretch of the imagination, but he definitely is moving better.”
What has the end result of that weigh loss been? Well, it’s still early, but so far things are looking good. Through four games Williamson is averaging 21.7 points and 11.7 rebounds per outing.
He got ditched by his girlfriend after going undrafted. Then he got the last laugh. https://t.co/1gBPyA45Ko
— Game 7 (@game7__) December 30, 2020
In New Orleans’ most recent game, a 111-86 defeat at the hands of the Phoenix Suns, he put up 20 points in 29 minutes.
Will Williamson be able to take the next step this season from promising prospect to bonafide, game-changing superstar?
Time will tell.
A longtime sports reporter, Carlos Garcia has written about some of the biggest and most notable athletic events of the last 5 years. He has been credentialed to cover MLS, NBA and MLB games all over the United States. His work has been published on Fox Sports, Bleacher Report, AOL and the Washington Post.