The road towards a season of redemption stands bright, promising and full of optimism for both Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans.
Jasper Bibbs, Williamson’s trainer and conditioning coach, told William Guillory of The Athletic that Williamson is making gigantic progress in his offseason workouts. The workout mentor is full of praise towards the star big man’s commitment and dedication to stay fit and conditioned.
“He’s in fantastic shape,” Bibbs told The Athletic. “He’s been committed to putting in the work day in and day out. I’m really proud of what he’s been able to accomplish. He’s a better athlete now than he’s ever been…
“We focused on addressing body composition — his body weight, body fat, etc. — while maintaining and improving flexibility, strength and power. We also focused on improving his overall fitness. The more weight he carries around, the more stress it puts on the body. We focused on aerobic and anaerobic basketball-specific conditioning. One of the main goals was to get Zion back to the same athletic ability he had before the injury. In the process, he’s improved athletically…
“I’m very happy with his commitment to not only his conditioning, but his commitment to doing all the tedious soft-tissue work, the stretching and his nutrition. He’s been phenomenal with his nutrition. I’m very happy about that for him. As he continues his NBA career, it’s amazing that he’s starting to develop these habits right now at such a young point in his career.”
It’s been a rough history for Williamson after plenty of injury bugs and weight concerns. The former No. 1 overall pick only managed to play 85 games for the past three seasons, and he wasn’t able to play for NOLA last year due to nagging foot issues.
But it appears that the grind doesn’t stop for him just to reach his all-time potential. Possessing that generational talent and godly combination of size and athleticism, Williamson has committed himself with the gambling Pelicans on a rookie max extension worth at least $193 million in five years.
With Brandon Ingram, C.J. McCollum, Herb Jones and a talented crew at his side, Williamson’s much anticipated glide with New Orleans can only be a great story line for the small market Pelicans this new season. For as long as he remains healthy and available, sky’s the limit and the rest of the league has to wary of the severe damage he can inflict.