Who Says Zion Needs To Move To Be Great?

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Photo: David Becker (AP)

“Is Zion Williamson too fat?” has been the controversy of NBA Summer League 2019 as the No. 1 overall pick is sitting out rest of the Vegas games due to a bruised left knee, depriving fans of mid-July slams and prompting them to wonder if the former Duke superstar is actually in shape. On ESPN last week, Seth Greenberg added to the dread that is currently keeping the New Orleans Pelicans faithful up all night by declaring that 285-pound Zion is “significantly overweight.”


“My concern isn’t about his game,” the analyst said.My concern is about his body. You can’t improve unless you’re in shape, and he is not in shape.”

But what if Zion doesn’t have to be in shape to be one of the all-time greats? What if, for example, the Pelicans could keep him stationary at half-court as a catch-and-shoot weapon, handing him the ball and watching him drain threes from way downtown, without even moving closer to the basket? Sounds crazy, right? But check out this range shown in the warm-ups to Pelicans-Grizzlies on Sunday:

And maybe—maybe!—he doesn’t even have to be in a standing position to carry New Orleans to the NBA Finals. Maybe the Pels can keep him in a chair on the side of the court, surrounded by candy and pizza and all the fatty foods he wants, while they intermittently call on him to add three points to the scoreboard. Zion’s proven he can make a shot from the bench, so that option’s got to be at the very least in the backs of their minds.

I eagerly await Zion’s official debut, where he’ll score 27 points on 9-for-9 shooting with zero rebounds, zero blocks, and zero steals.