Zion Williamson hasn’t taken long to make a considerable impact on the floor in his rookie year with the New Orleans Pelicans. Williamson has quickly proven to be one of the rising stars that could become one of the league’s faces down the line. However, he has continued to deal with criticism around the control of his weight. Williamson has hit a breaking point with that discussion to respond to the judgment.
Zion Williamson’s strong start to NBA career
Zion Williamson has seen limited playing time in the Orlando Bubble; it doesn’t overshadow the tremendous start to his NBA career.
His first year began with a setback, but he has produced at a historical rate since taking the court. In his first 19 games played before the season was suspended, he’s averaging 23.6 points and 6.8 rebounds while shooting 58.9% from the floor and 46.2% from beyond the arc.
That has seen him make NBA history along the way as he joined Hall of Famers Shaquille O’Neal and Grant Hill as the only players with seven 20-point outings in their first 10 games career games over the last 30 seasons. Despite his success on the court, the conversation has continued to turn toward his weight, which is something he has finally lashed back.
Zion Williamson blasts those criticizing his weight
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Since his freshman year at Duke, Zion Williamson continues to deal with criticisms about his weight.
That dialogue has remained as he has had his struggles with fluctuating weight that led to many fans fat-shaming him over social media. Williamson has chosen to finally fire back at those critics by stating that he’s only going to listen to those that are around and the Pelicans about that matter, according to Will Guillory of The Athletic.
“Everybody is entitled to their own opinion,” Zion Williamson said. “I’m just going to stick to the opinions of the people closest to me and my team, and just go from there.”
That is the one area that fans continue to hound him about as he has struggled to stay on top of his weight. There have been some various times that he doesn’t appear to be in great physical shape. It’s not a stab at his talent or athletic ability, but more so that some believe his weight could impact his game and availability on the floor throughout an entire season.
Williamson does have the right approach with him only concerning himself with the opinion of those close to him and the team. That should help him avoid any pitfalls that come with social media, where certain environments can become toxic with negative comments.
Bright NBA future ahead
The weight issues aside, it’s hard to look past the bright future that Zion Williamson with the Pelicans.
He has shown that he can be a high-impact player even with him not having precisely the best grip over his weight. He put on display with 25 points in 27 minutes against the San Antonio Spurs last week. Williamson has much growth ahead in his game that can only see him become a more well-rounded player.
With the criticism around his weight, he could use the approach that Hall of Famer Charles Barkley utilized. Barkley famous struggled with his weight but got that under control during significant portions of his prime that saw him put forth an illustrious career. It may be an annoying conversation and dialogue he has to deal with, but it’s an opportunity for him to grow and improve his approach to his health.
Beyond that, Williamson can become the face of the franchise in New Orleans and guide them to a promising future ahead.