It is now 510 days since Zion Williamson stepped foot into a basketball court to run a full 48-minute game. Last year, his broken foot required surgery that kept him sidelined for the 2021-2022 NBA season. Many concerns sparked over Williamson’s health, even questions of whether he was overweight, but those doubts [for now] seem to be laid to rest as Williamson states:
“I feel like I’m at my best right now — Moving faster, jumping higher. I feel great.”
The first overall pick of the 2019 Draft appeared at Media Day to remind everyone just how special basketball is to him; and the matter of transforming his body. Williamson broke down how he has been able to keep his body at a satisfactory level for him on Monday.
“I’ve learned a lot from a nutrition standpoint… how long I need to be in the gym and the most efficient way to work out.
Williamson has only played in 85 games for the Pelicans in his four-year career, but his dominance from his days at Duke University still transferred to the pros.
Williamson averaged 22.5 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 2.1 assists per game in the 22 games he played during his rookie season. The following year showed many why he went number one in the 2019 Draft, increasing his points per game average to 27 while also adding 7.2 boards and 3.7 assists. In both seasons, he was taking smart and efficient shots jumping from 58.3 percent shooting in 2019 to 61.1 percent shooting from the field in 2020.
“I found true resolve within the game of basketball. Something mentally in me shifted; the game of basketball is it for me. It’s my love. It’s what I want to do.”
Hearing words like the ones Williamson used at Media Day is certainly encouraging for the city of New Orleans. However, with that comes high expectations, and Williamson should be expected to prioritize being that potent, freakish athletic scorer the Pelicans took their chances on. With Brandon Ingram, CJ McCollum, and several key players at their position, the team adding back their superstar player with a killer mindset can reach high destinations.
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