Zion Williamson has recently been heavily criticised for his fitness and weight, most notably by Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley and Zion has responded.
In the Pelicans’ blowout loss to the Lakers, which saw them eliminated from the In-Season Tournament, Zion posted just 13 points and was -33 in the box score.
After the game, Shaq and Chuck openly questioned his fitness and explained how they themselves were both unfit early in their careers and had to get help to lose weight.
Four nights later, Zion responded by scoring a season-high 36 points on 13-of-17 shooting to lead NOLA to a 14-point win over the first-seeded Timberwolves.
He was asked by the media about Shaq and Barkley’s comments specifically and whether he thought it was a “legitimate critique”.
“If it comes from a great place and a place where they just want to see me do better — thank you,” Williamson said. “But if it comes from anywhere else, everybody’s entitled to their own opinion. You can’t control that.”
Zion was then asked if there is anything he hears about himself that goes too far.
“At the end of the day, I can’t control what no grown man do,” Williamson said. “I can’t control what no grown adult does. All I can do is control the things I can control, lock in on myself, lock in on my teammates, coaches and everybody with Pelicans, the city and try to win.”
Stephen A. Smith was the latest media personality to jump on the Zion weight-shaming bandwagon, which seems like a good example of taking it too far.
“It is shameful. I got chefs in New Orleans. I’m not exaggerating,” Smith said on Monday’s episode of First Take. “I’m not exaggerating, I’m quoting people. You got chefs in New Orleans who love him. They’re looking for him. Every chef there wants to meet him because they know he’ll show up to their restaurant. The word out on Zion Williamson is that he’ll eat the table.”
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