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Derrick Rose gives advice to Pelicans’ Zion Williamson about dealing with knee injuries

Pelicans, Pistons, Zion Williamson, Derrick Rose

Detroit Pistons guard Derrick Rose has dealt with his share of serious knee injuries during his NBA career, and there’s likely no better player than he to give rookie Zion Williamson some words of advice on how to deal with them. The New Orleans Pelicans standout has yet to debut after suffering a torn meniscus early in the preseason, putting him out for several weeks and delaying his awaited first game.

Rose, now with the Pistons, offered a few sincere bits of advice — warning Williamson that even small things like his weight and diet can influence how often he’s on the court.

“I mean, it’s a lot. First is your weight,” Rose told Will Perdue of NBC Sports Chicago. “I remember playing for the USA teams and I think my second time we were going and seeing all these doctors and I was getting all these MRIs and I was still feeling pain in my knees certain days. It all came down to my weight. Nobody said nothing about my weight. I think I was around 212 or 214 (pounds) at the time. I was too heavy. It was the little things. I had to watch my diet. Once I watched my diet, I was fine. That was something I didn’t have to worry about.”

Williamson weighed in at 285 pounds in his first and only year at Duke and measured at 6-foot-6, a full inch shorter than what he was penned as during his short-lived college career. Many wondered how Williamson could handle that frame throughout 82 games, but he’s managed to do just fine before his meniscus tear.

Rose admits Williamson can be a freak of nature, but he’s still under the same toll of playing in the league — an adaptation he will have to conform to sooner, rather than later.

“But Zion is in his own lane. Just being that heavy, playing the way that he plays, he’s explosive. He’s an athlete I think nobody never saw before. His path is going to be totally different than mine, you know what I mean? He has to, for one, learn the league. I had a chance to learn the league, play through my mistakes and I got injured Year 3 or 4. He got injured right away. So he has to learn his body right away, learn the league, learn what his skills are, work on his skills.”

Rose is averaging 18.5 points and 5.8 assists per game, the best since his 2011-12 season before he suffered the infamous ACL injury. Hopefully, Williamson can take this advice to heart and watch his fitness closely to avoid running into more setbacks in the future.