‘Yo, Man, You Gotta Get In Shape’ | Sir Charles Barkley Knows Weight Challenges And Offers Advice To New Orleans Pelicans Star Zion Williamson 

Since being the No.1 overall pick in the 2019 NBA draft, New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson hasn’t been able to stay healthy. In fact, the burly-but-nimble athletic specimen has missed 188 of a possible 302 games in his four-year NBA career. Williamson’s health or lack thereof has become a real sticking point for the Pelicans and their franchise going forward. 

While the team has continuously shown support for their franchise player, you can sense that is beginning to wane a bit with Williamson rarely being available. It’s becoming increasingly evident that Williamson, who plays at 6 feet 6 and 285 pounds, may need to slim down in an effort to stay healthy  and be available for his team. 

Former NBA legend Charles Barkley, who also struggled with his weight early in his career, has some advice for Williamson.

Barkley Talks Zion Not Being In Shape On Podcast

If anyone can relate to weight problems it’s Barkley, who was once called “the Round Mound of Rebound” for his burly and overweight stature. Barkley, the 1993 NBA MVP, who’s also one of the co-hosts of the “NBA on TNT,” recently spoke about Zion and his weight issues during a recent appearance on “The Steam Room” podcast. 

“Zion Williamson. Yo, man, I don’t know you. We’ve never met, but somebody gotta tell you, like, yo, man, you gotta get in shape, because you’re going to keep getting hurt if you’re out of shape. I don’t think the coach has enough power to tell you what to do.”

Barkley Says Moses Malone Helped Him With Weight 

When Barkley arrived in Philadelphia in 1985 he was overweight, and teammate Moses Malone urged him to lose 50 pounds. Not only did Barkley take heed, he also used that to turn himself into one of the best players the game has ever seen. 

“I’m so blessed with Moses Malone, who told me to get my fat ass in shape and made me lose 50 pounds. It changed the whole dynamic of my life. I hope you don’t take this the wrong way. I want you to be a great basketball player. I’ve been in your shoes. Being very talented, being overweight, and, like I said, I thank God every day for Moses. Rest In peace,” Barkley added in tribute to Malone, who died in 2015. 

Barkley then talked about guys eating their way out of the league and how he wants Zion to get his weight under control before it becomes detrimental to his health long term. Also, with Zion being paid over $36 million next season, Barkley believes he owes it to his team and the Pelicans fan base to be in shape and ready to play.

“I’ve seen dozens of guys eat their way out of the NBA. If can happen quickly, because once you start getting hurt, you’re going to keep getting hurt. My first contract was four years and two million dollars. I got in shape for two million dollars. You’re gonna make another 500 million dollars. All you gotta do is get in shape.”

What’s wild is despite only playing 114 games across four seasons, Williamson has averaged 26 points, seven rebounds and four assists per game when healthy.

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