It’s no secret that Zion Williamson has struggled with his weight and health since arriving in the NBA. In the four years since arriving in the league, the Duke product has played less than 30 games three times, including missing the entire 2021-22 campaign.
Barkley To Zion Williamson: Get fit
“You’ll never be healthy out of shape… I hope you don’t take it the wrong way, that’s a positive critique… I was in your place being very talented, overweight.”
Charles Barkley’s advice to Zion Williamson.
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) May 25, 2023
Most of the time lost due to injury can be attributed to Williamson’s size and weight. There were concerns about his physique when he left college, but his sheer skill and athleticism allowed him to be picked first overall anyway. But the New Orleans Pelicans may soon look back on that decision with regret, despite being the first consensus pick in 2019.
There are reports of Williamson being careless about his eating habits. He is listed at 284 pounds, but there were moments where he pushed 300+. When he does play, his numbers and stats are outstanding. But staying on the court is by far the biggest problem.
“I’d like to sit down with Zion (Williamson) and say, ‘man, you’ve got so much talent, but you’re going to have to lose some weight and get in shape, because if you’re not in shape, you can’t play basketball. “
— Charles Barkley
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) May 19, 2023
Williamson certainly receives advice from all quarters. There are a lot of people who care about him and want him to succeed, but very few know exactly what he’s going through and what struggles can come up as he deals with his weight issues in the NBA.
But there is at least one person who has gone through the same struggles and ultimately emerged from success on the other side, and recently lent some wise words to Williamson.
On an episode of The Steam Room, Charles Barkley started discussing Zion Williamson and his situation. Sitting with Ernie Johnson, Barkley spoke directly to Williamson through cameras and microphones.
“Someone needs to tell you that you need to be in shape. You’ll still suffer if you’re out of shape… I’m so damned for Moses Malone. He told me to fix my fat ass and make me lose 50 pounds. It changed the whole dynamic of my life… You’ll never be healthy out of shape… I was in your shoes.”
Barkley was famous for his weight issues both during and after his football career. Perhaps there is no better historical comparison to Zion Williamson’s physique than Barkley, and the younger of the two should heed the advice of the elder statesman.