When Zion Williamson was being drafted, he had the most hype of any player since Lebron James was drafted back in 2003. While he was at Duke, he single-handedly caused ticket prices to go as high as $2000 per game because fans wanted to watch him play that much. And when he slipped wearing Nike shoes and broke them, he caused Nike stock to plummet just over a billion dollars, showing how influential he already was back in College. Not to mention how he’s one of the cover athletes for NBA 2k21 after just 24 NBA games. The Zion hype train is real.
But is all this hype worth it? Is he going to be the star we’ve all been promised? I do have my doubts about Zion as he’s an insane 285 pounds (129kg) and this isn’t natural. He’s the second heaviest player in the NBA while standing at 6’6. This makes him extremely injury prone and he’s already had a knee injury that sidelined him for the start of the season. Humans are not designed to be as heavy as Zion is and although he’s one of the strongest players in the league, it has clearly come at a cost. For his longevity, he should look at slimming down and this will also make him much quicker and more agile, which is something he lacks.
The Pelicans are obviously addressing this situation as they know how threatening to his career it can be. They’re teaching him to land after jumping to minimize the stress on his joints and he’s strengthening all his joints at the same time. He has a lot of bad habits built up from College and it will take time to get rid of these. I truly hope they can keep Zion healthy as we’ve never seen any player that’s as big as him and can fly like he does.
Another area of his game that I’m concerned about is his three-point shooting. He’s only attempted 14 so far in the NBA and converted on 6 of these (42.9% from three). But his mechanics don’t seem to be great from what I can see. Because of how strong he is, he can’t shoot with a normal form and he barely needs to bring the ball back at all. But if he keeps making his shots, then who am I to judge.