Utah Jazz legend Karl Malone has been the latest star to talk about Zion Williamson and his shape. The New Orleans Pelicans young player has been the subject of plenty of criticism for his overweight and Malone wasn’t the exception. The NBA legend has always been outspoken, as he showed in 2019 when talking about Michael Jordan and his Chicago Bulls.
He’s one of the greatest power forwards in the NBA and one of the strongest players in the league during his best days. During a recent interview with The Players’ Tribune’s Knuckleheads with Quentin Richardson and Darius Miles, Malone explained that Williamson is very young and he shouldn’t be getting tired at this age. At some point, he agreed with former NBA player Glen Davis, echoing some words the former said about Zion before.
“Guys, I love Zion Williamson. We might not ever know his full potential. There was a young man who played at LSU – [Glen] ‘Big Baby’ Davis – Big Baby made a comment about eight months ago. And he came on that show and he said ‘Hey now, guys, I’m about to get into trouble with what I’m about to say. I know everybody loves Zion and I love him too. But Zion has the same body type that I got.’ He was talking about himself. And [Davis] said, ‘If [Williamson] don’t get into shape, we’ll never know his full potential.’ And he did get heat for that. But guess what guys, he needs to be averaging 40 minutes a game. You are a 21-22-year-old kid, your ass shouldn’t be getting tired.”
Williamson’s body has gone through some changes since he made it to the league. The player has gone up and down on the scale and it doesn’t look like he will have a long NBA career if he doesn’t get in shape. Zion has been urged by plenty of players to improve his fitness and until he reaches his best version, we won’t see the best Zion Williamson we can see.
Malone was known for his toughness; he always tried to work harder than his rivals, which took him to two consecutive NBA Finals. Although he doesn’t want to remember any of that, it’s clear that Malone helped his team play in the biggest series of all in two straight seasons. This is a man Zion should look up to on the court and these “pieces of advice” will help the young player reach his potential.