The REAL Problem With Zion Williamson In The NBA (Ft. NBA Weight, Knees, & Pelicans Muscle)
Zion Williamson and his weight has been a popular topic in the NBA. People keep saying Zion is overweight, but the Pelicans don’t think so, so here‘s Zion’s real problem. #NBA #Zion
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Zion Williamson is out 6-8 weeks with a knee injury that he’ll get surgery for. Zion only complained about knee soreness and out of knee soreness, now he’s getting part of his meniscus removed. And there have been a lot of people who have been saying he’s overweight for his playstyle, his high flying, rim destroying style. But that was never a concern in his earlier high school days when he became a viral sensation. Drop a like for Zion dunks, a good 5347 of them.
Zion was a 6’ 3” 175 pound freshmen as Zion called himself, small. But over the course of about 2 years, Zion said he gained about 100 pounds. There’s no way he gained almost 100 pounds, there’s no way, he was just 14 going to 16. That’s ridiculous. (show ESPN saying he’s 272 for senior camp). So Zion gained 97 pounds in 2 and a half years. This is not normal. The normal muscle gain at the ages of 14 to 16 is 20-26 pounds. While I don’t know how much of the 97 pounds was muscle and fat, looking at Zion himself in high school, it didn’t look like he was out of shape. His senior year was when he was doing this. This weight gain is actually unprecedented. When Zion initially got to Duke, there were reports that he was out of shape, that he was too heavy, that he was uhm thick. And then he did this. (free throw line dunk) Zion proceeded to have the most efficient season in NCAA basketball history. With a 40.3 PER, and also the stuff he was doing on the court, there was no denying that he was special. He didn’t lose any weight during the entire season and made his way to the NBA at that same weight of 285 pounds.
Now let’s go back to the comments David Griffin said. Saying that no one gains muscle like Zion is a pretty bold statement considering that David Griffin was also the GM of LeBron James and also part of the Suns organization when Charles Barkley was on the Suns for 4 seasons. One who’s a freak of nature himself at 6’ 8” 250 pounds and the other who’s notorious for his fluctuating weight. Let’s look at these two for a second.
LeBron is listed at 250 pounds now, but has played at 270 pounds during his NBA career. LeBron came into the league out of high school at 240 pounds. In his freshmen year of high school, he was 6’ 3” 185 pounds meaning in 4 years, he put on 55 pounds, which is nothing to scoff at. Charles Barkley came into the league at a weight of around 300 pounds at 6’ 6”, but a lot of that and I mean a lot of that was fat. Charles was the first to admit it. As a professional athlete, Barkley was lazy and let his weight balloon up to that, but with the guidance of Moses Malone, Barkley kept losing weight until he found his most effective weight at 255 pounds. But again, a lot of the weight Barkley lost was excessive fat. So while Barkley is saying that Zion needs to lose weight, their body types were completely different.
There’s one person in the NBA who is close to that type of muscle gain and that’s Giannis who gained 52 pounds of muscle in 6 years and that was with an emphasis on packing muscle. What the heck Giannis. Zion didn’t focus on gaining weight and gained 110 pounds. *sigh A lot of NBA rookies focus on packing on muscle after their first year so their bodies can be NBA ready. Lonzo Ball put on about 10-15 pounds of muscle after his rookie year.
I agree with the assessment, but then what is the right playing weight for Zion? LeBron played at 274 pounds at one point in his career, but there weren’t any injury concerns at that weight, mainly because LeBron was all muscle. Shaq also got heavier during his career, putting on about 100 pounds in his first 10 years to 341 pounds. He more so ate his way to that weight, but somewhere around 320 pounds was when Shaq was at his best where he was so dominant and still able to move enough. But to every player there is a different playing weight that they naturally are good at. I can see the arguments being made for his weight and while the way he walks is unusual, I don’t think Zion has to drastically change himself physically. Zion is in good shape, we’ve seen LeBron at 274 pounds be dominant. I’ll leave that up to the Pelicans medical staff to decide what Zion needs to do for his career and longevity, but Zion is not normal. His real problem is how quickly he gains muscle, not his weight. As David Griffin said, Zion is unlike anyone we’ve ever seen. But what do you think? Does Zion need to lower his weight? Will he win rookie of the year?