Zion Williamson is not a fan of fat jokes.
It was devastating for Zion Williamson to hear all the cruel fat jokes. Zion was selected as the No. 1 overall pick by New Orleans in the 2019 draft and was projected to become an MVP-caliber player, but instead was reduced to being a magnet for cruel weight jokes.
“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 FOX Sports last week. “Critiquing my body, critiquing how I look. 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.”
So much has changed for Williamson since.
He silenced questions about whether he could lose weight by showing up to training camp with a significantly slimmed-down frame. And he immediately quieted those doubting whether he could be great again with a 25-point, nine-rebound performance in his regular-season debut against the Brooklyn Nets last month.
Williamson’s mother and stepfather were well-meaning, but they’d sometimes read articles that concerned them and then call their son and pepper him with questions about his progress, which only further stressed him out.
“I was like, ‘Y’all relax, hearing it from y’all doesn’t help me and it makes it worse for me as a matter of fact,’” Williamson said. “So, when I broke it down like that, they understood. Once my foot heals, I’ll get back on track.”
Zion is going to constantly be managing his weight, it’s one of those things he’ll have to be diligent about. We know someone who likes to jump like he does needs to stay lean. That kind of weight on the knees is no bueno.
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