Zion Williamson has been a fantastic basketball player thus far in the league. During the 2020-21 season, he averaged 27.0 PPG and 7.2 RPG. It is clear that the Pelicans big man has had elite production on the court. However, a lot of the questions about him have come from his durability and conditioning.
Kenny Smith has offered some advice for the young star, stating that he should "just eat less". Smith acknowledged that Zion Williamson "puts in the hours" to be a great basketball player and claimed that "it's the same commitment" in regards to staying in peak conditioning. Ryan Glasspiegel of the New York Post relayed Smith's words.
“The easiest part is, he’ll figure out how to eat less. It’s not hard, when it’s your profession. He puts the hours in to be a great basketball player. He’ll figure out those hours that he needs to keep his body right. It’s the same thing. It’s the same commitment. It’s not hard. Just eat less. It’s not hard at all for a guy who has that kind of discipline to be that great a player.
“Every player in their career is going to get hurt at some point. In that time you gotta figure out how to stay in shape and stay in a basketball body. Obviously, he’s healing, but he’s not ready to play.”
There is no doubt that the majority of players play much better when they are in peak shape. While Zion Williamson is out with injury currently, his staying in shape while injured will be crucial to how easy it will be for him to get back to his peak physically.
Zion Williamson will likely come back and perform at a high level. Others besides Kenny Smith, like legend Clyde Frazier have stated that he needs to get in shape. We'll see if Williamson decides to take their suggestion, and perhaps he could become even better were he to get into top-tier physical shape.