New Orleans Pelicans franchise player Zion Williamson has not featured for the franchise since the start of the 2021-22 NBA season due to a foot injury. The 21-year-old is rehabbing and getting ready to take the court once again, but sightings of the big man have shown that he might not be fit enough to play given how much weight he has added in his recovery period.
Coming into the NBA, there have been concerns about his body and how he would hold up in the league.
Zion has been likened to Shaquille O'Neal and is a likely candidate to be the most dominant player since the Shaq era. But he might not be able to help his team win if he is not in great shape to compete.
With fans raving about his weight after he made an appearance at the New Orleans Pelicans-Houston Rockets game on December 5, ESPN's Tim MacMahon stated that Williamson weighs about 330 pounds.
While it is clear that Zion has put on some pounds, his friend Jae Neville has debunked rumors on the outrageous numbers flying around. Via a tweet, he said:
"Z came through and checked my guys out this weekend.. Y’all gotta relax with the fake news about his weight.. Humans have a weird obsession with seeing people 'fail.'"
The truth is that we will not see the best of Zion if he weighs as much as 330 as stipulated by MacMahon. Any number north of that will make him the heaviest player in league history. NBA analyst Charles Barkley roasted him earlier in the season, saying it looked like he and Shaq had a baby.
The 2019 first overall pick has been a force since his NBA debut. He plays bully ball and is not afraid to attack the rim. Sadly, he lost the Rookie of the Year award to Ja Morant because he did not play as many games to be considered.
Williamson is not the best defender, and putting on weight might hamper his movement on defense. While it might make him immovable in the low post, it takes away his versatility and makes him a weak link, especially when a switch happens.
At this point, it is all just speculations, as there is no official word on how much the big man weighs. Nonetheless, the timeline for his return is still unclear as he is not fit enough to play yet.