Pelicans star Zion Williamson’s troubling weight gain, revealed
There has been drama surrounding Zion Williamson basically from the very beginning of his career with the New Orleans Pelicans. That’s only continuing as the 2021-22 season gets underway, with Williamson undergoing foot surgery over the summer and now missing the start of his third campaign.
The communication on the matter has also been less than ideal, with Pelicans executive vice president David Griffin initially suggesting Zion would be ready to start the season before recently backtracking in a big way.
In addition to those issues, there’s apparently ongoing concern about Williamson’s weight. While he has always been a beefy guy, Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report says Zion’s weight has ballooned north of 300 pounds thanks in part to the foot injury. This has led to concern in the organization similar to before his rookie debut. People around the NBA have also taken notice:
When he joined the Pelicans’ recent preseason trip to Minnesota, several league personnel on hand were struck by his heavier appearance than his listed playing weight last season of 284 pounds. “I know Zion at 280, and he was not 280,” said one observer.
“These are the injuries you have to be the most concerned about, a foot injury for a guy with noted weight issues,” said one Western Conference executive.
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The Pelicans’ phenom reportedly backed out of several preseason road trips in order to stay in New Orleans to work on his rehab, and hopefully, as he gets healthier he’ll quickly work himself back into shape. But he’ll likely be on a minutes restriction when he comes back, which isn’t ideal in a big season for this Pelicans franchise.
Williamson has been saying the right things about his status in New Orleans, but there will continue to be speculation about his future.