He ended up going to Duke for just one season and was a dominant force, winning AP Player of the Year, ACC Player and Athlete of the Year, and lead the Blue Devils to the Elite 8, where they lost to Michigan State.
Zion was then drafted number one overall by the New Orleans Pelicans in 2019 and expectations were perhaps the highest of any player since Lebron James. His first two season were pretty solid and he showed potential to be one of the game’s all-time greats, but things began coming up that started worrying fans and the team alike.
For starters, he couldn’t stay healthy…
He missed the entire 2021-2022 season due to a fracture in his foot and again missed time in the 2022-2023 season with hamstring problems. But that wasn’t the entire picture, in fact, many believed those injuries were a result of a different problem.
Zion couldn’t keep his weight under control.
Listed at 6 feet 6 inches and 284 pounds, there’s no doubt he’s a monster of a man, but reports came out that he showed up for the 2021 season well over 300 pounds and the team was forced to include weight and body fat thresholds in the contract extension he signed in 2022.
Despite these measures, it doesn’t appear to have had much of an effect, as over the past few days the topic of his bodyweight has been all over sports media, spurred by a clip which shows just how large he looks to be on the court and reports from the team that they can’t convince him that he needs diet and exercise to reach his potential.
I’m no expert, but that looks like a lot of mass to be running up and down the court for 82 games…
Naturally, sports analysists have had a field day with this, but none have gone as far as Stephen A Smith, who lit the internet on fire with his comments on ESPN this morning.
“I’m not exaggerating, I’m quoting people… You’ve got chefs in New Orleans who love him. They’re looking for him. Every chef there wants to meet him because they know he’ll show up to their restaurant.
The word out on Zion Williamson is that ‘He’ll eat the table’. I’m quoting. ‘He’ll eat the table.’ What in the hell is going on with Zion Williamson?”
I mean, what do you even say to that?
Few people are better connected in the sports world than Stephen A, so I’m assuming there has to be some validity to this, but my goodness what a line.
The only thing we can count on more than Stephen A having a strong opinion is other people on the internet also being ready to give their two cents and I have to say, these reactions are really making me laugh…
On one hand I do feel bad for Zion. He’s clearly one of the greatest athletes on the planet and is struggling a bit to find himself and is getting pounced on my the media at pretty much every turn.
But also you’re getting paid millions of dollars to play a professional sport and can’t stop eating to the point where its a huge problem for the team? Come on man, you’ve got to take care of yourself. No one’s saying he needs to be absolutely shredded, but there has to be a red line somewhere.
You can always count on Stephen A Smith to start a fire in the world of sports media.