New Orleans Pelicans rookie sensation Zion Williamson went viral before the NBA restart when a photo of him looking like Bane hit the internet. Williamson appeared to be in great shape, with suggestions being thrown around that he lost 25 pounds of fat and gained 10 pounds of muscle.
Williamson’s weight has long been a talking point, and he used the lengthy hiatus as a way to get back to his old self after his initial return from a meniscus injury. The youngster even revealed that these hiatus workouts made him realize just how far away he was when he first came back earlier this season:
“I was focused on honing my game and my body and getting back to full strength,” says Williamson, via Franklyn Calle of SLAM. “When people asked me during the season where do you think I am [health-wise], I probably said something like 80-85 [percent]. But working out the past few months, I was way off. I was probably at, like, 60 percent.”
If Williamson was playing at 60 percent earlier this season, then it’s amazing to imagine how he’ll look like at close to a hundred percent. The Pelicans rookie averaged an impressive 23.6 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 2.2 assists before the restart.
Williamson had a setback when he had to leave the Orlando bubble in the weeks leading up to the resumption of play. This resulted in a strict minutes limit that had many people scratching their head. However, the rookie has seen his minutes jump in recent games, even if he’s still not playing more than 25 minutes.
While questions remain about Williamson’s long-term health, the phenom is adamant that he has rekindled the flame that is his love and passion for the sport:
“When I say I feel like my old self, I mean like high school and college, in the sense of having fun with the game,” he added. “Yeah, basketball is a business, but I love basketball. Whenever I play basketball with that love I’ve always had, I feel like I’m one of the best.”
New Orleans has not fared well in the Disney World bubble thus far, losing three out of its first four games. Unfortunately for the Pelicans, their hopes for the playoffs are quickly fading away after each defeat.