New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson let it be known that he has feelings, just like any other player on the court. In an interview with Melissa Rohlin of FOX Sports, the 22-year-old talked about his weight critics.
“What people don’t understand is, even the writers and stuff, if they have children of their own, imagine if somebody talked about their child how they spoke about me,” Williamson told Rohlin last week.
According to multiple NBA betting sites, the Pelicans have the 19th-best odds to win the championship in 2023. A few sportsbooks expect the team to return to the playoffs this season.
Exclusive: I talked to Zion Williamson about what it was like to be a lightning rod for cruel weight jokes last season.
“I don't even think they realized what kind of impact that can have on you.”https://t.co/Hawj3WpQ5V
— Melissa Rohlin (@melissarohlin) November 7, 2022
“Critiquing my body, critiquing how I look,” said the Pelicans forward. “Every time they talked about me, it was about weight, how bad I looked. I don’t even think they realized what kind of impact that can have on you.”
In July, the forward signed a five-year rookie extension with the Pelicans worth $194.3 million. However, Williamson’s new contract can increase to $231 million if he receives an All-NBA honor this season.
Pelicans forward Zion Williamson calls out critics for mocking him for his weight while dealing with foot injury
Additionally, his contract extension includes a weight clause. After inking his new deal, it was reported that Williamson would lose some of his guaranteed money if not below 295 lbs.
NBA twitter users thought it was the perfect time to mock the Duke product while he was still recovering from his foot injury. The Pelicans forward took it personal.
“That’s nasty because with a lower-body injury, that dictates how you walk, that dictates how you run, how you do everyday activities and how you move, it affected me psychologically,” continued Williamson.
“For the world to critique me like that and all I was trying to do was make sure my foot was straight? It was a lot. I’m not going to lie to you — it was a lot.”
During his foot injury rehab, the Pelicans forward weighed over 300 lbs. As of right now, according to Basketball-Reference statistics, Williamson is 284 lbs.
Through seven games this season, Zion Williamson is averaging 22.7 points, 6.9 rebounds, 3.7 assists, and 1.1 steals. He’s also shooting 52.4% from the floor and 67.5% at the foul line.
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