It is no secret that Zion Williamson has struggled with his weight and his health since coming into the NBA. In his four years since coming into the league, the Duke product has played less than 30 games three times, including missing the entire 2021-22 campaign.
Barkley To Zion Williamson: Get In Shape
“You’re never going to be healthy out of shape… I hope you don’t take this the wrong way, it’s positive criticism… I’ve been in your shoes being very talented, being overweight.”
Charles Barkley’s advice to Zion Williamson.
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) May 25, 2023
Much of the time missed due to injury can be attributed to Williamson’s size and weight. There were concerns about his body type when he was coming out of college, but his sheer skill and athleticism allowed him to be selected first overall anyway. But the New Orleans Pelicans could soon be looking back with regret on that decision, despite him being the consensus first pick in 2019.
There are reports of Williamson being careless with his eating habits. He is listed at 284 pounds, but there have been points in which he is pushing 300+. When he does play, his numbers and statistics have been outstanding. But remaining on the court is by far the biggest issue.
“I wish I could sit down with Zion [Williamson] and say ‘yo man, you got so much talent but you gonna have to lose some weight & get in shape because unless you get in shape, you can’t play basketball.'”
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) May 19, 2023
Williamson is surely receiving advice from all angles. There are plenty of people who care about him and want him to succeed, but very few know exactly what he is going through and the struggles that can come with dealing with weight issues in the NBA.
But there is at least one person who has been through the same struggles and eventually came out successful on the other side, and he lent some words of wisdom to Williamson recently.
On an episode of The Steam Room, Charles Barkley got to discussing Zion Williamson and his situation. While sitting with Ernie Johnson, Barkley spoke directly to Williamson through the cameras and microphones.
“Somebody gotta tell you that you gotta get in shape. You’re going to keep getting hurt if you’re out of shape…I’m so blassed for Moses Malone. He told me to get my fat ass in shape and made me lose 50 pounds. It changed the whole dynamic of my life…You’re never going to be healthy out of shape…I’ve been in your shoes.”
Barkley famously struggled with his weight issues both during his playing career and after. There may be no better historical comparison to the body type of Zion Williamson than that of Barkley, and the younger of the two should heed the advice of the elder statesman.
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