TAKE it from a stocky cager who went on to become one of the most dominant in NBA history.
Charles Barkley hinted Zion Williamson will have to trim down his weight to have a long pro career.
Barkley, who had a 16-year career that saw him win an MVP, an Olympic gold medal, and just fall short of an NBA championship, insisted Williamson, the No. 1 pick in this year’s draft, hardly looks “fat,” although he is still away from his ideal playing weight.
The 6-foot-7 Williamson, listed at 285 pounds, has drawn comparisons to Barkley (6’6”, 250 pounds) for his size, skill, and strength.
“He doesn’t look fat at all,” Barkley said in an interview with the Get Up show. “I was fat, so I needed to lose weight. I don’t know what Zion’s playing weight is going to be. I thought 300 was my perfect weight in college, but I had to lose 50 pounds to become a Hall of Famer.”
“I think he’s got a great system down in New Orleans,” he added of Williamson, who turned 19 only last July 6. “I love David Griffin and Alvin Gentry, but they’re going to have to come up with a comprehensive plan to see what the prefect playing weight is."
"I was fat ... [Zion] doesn't look fat at all."— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) July 16, 2019
—Charles Barkley says Zion Williamson has to figure out his perfect playing weight pic.twitter.com/JcyXvCecYX
Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski felt Williamson should’ve skipped the NBA Summer League after his prized Blue Devils ward missed most of the Pelicans’ Summer League campaign after suffering a minor knee injury in the team’s debut last July 5 when he scored 10 points in just nine minutes before getting hurt.
“He can’t play at 280 today with the stress on his knees, because he’s so big and he’s so strong,” Barkley continued. “I want to see him successful, but he’s going to figure out what his playing weight is for his body.”