According to senior ESPN writer Brian Windhorst, the New Orleans Pelicans have changed their culinary practices to aid Zion Williamson get back in shape.
Zion Williamson was drafted as the first overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft by the New Orleans Pelicans. The Duke sensation was a physical specimen the league had never seen since Shaquille O’Neal. The NBA had never experienced such hype around a rookie since LeBron James.
The Pelicans forward was a dominant force in the paint. However, Zion didn’t have a jump shot coming into the league and struggled from the free-throw line. The former Duke University player’s weight was always a deterrent in his performance, making him injury prone.
Zion would miss the first 3-months of his rookie season due to a meniscus tear. However, as soon as he stepped on the hardwood, he was a different animal. In his debut, Zion had 22-points and 7-rebounds. The 6″6′ forward dropped 17-consecutive points in the fourth quarter, having everyone in awe.
The 21-year old had a great 2020-21 season. However, Zion continued to struggle with injuries. The 2021 All-Star hasn’t played a single game this season and has packed some pounds, leaving everyone in the Pelicans organization in a fix.
The Pelicans front office has directed its cooking staff to tend to the needs of Zion Williamson.
As Zion continues to recover from a broken foot, the Pelicans kitchen wants to ensure that the budding star gets back in shape. The former national college player of the year needs to take care of his body to prevent injuries from occurring in the future.
Another narrative playing in the media is that Zion packing more pounds is his way of wanting out of the Pelicans franchise. Some have even compared it to what Hall of Famer Charles Barkley had done before the draft day. The TNT analyst had gained twenty pounds to avoid being drafted by the Sixers.
However, the Pelicans don’t want to lose out on a generational talent such as Zion and are doing everything possible to get him back on board, including making changes in their kitchen.
“The Pelicans have poured resources, time, and energy to protect Williamson’s health,” wrote Brian Windhorst and Andrew Lopez of ESPN. “They have changed members of the staff and even changed some of their culinary practices in an attempt to support him.”
Recently, Barkley threw some shots at Zion for him being out of shape that had everyone on the sets, especially Shaquille O’Neal in splits. However, there was a section of the media that found this body-shaming unacceptable.
Though Barkley’s comments should be condemned, Zion needs to get himself back in shape for his good. Injuries at his age would only rob him of his prime.