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Report: Zion Williamson 'Truly' Bothered by 'Constant Ridicule' About His Weight

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVJuly 31, 2022

David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images

Zion Williamson's weight has been a constant topic of conversation dating back to his days at Duke.

While Williamson is reportedly fine with the occasional joke, William Guillory of The Athletic reported it "bothers" the New Orleans Pelicans star that his weight is used to question his work ethic or desire to be great on the floor.

There is little questioning Williamson's brilliance when he's been able to stay healthy. He averaged 27.0 points, 7.2 rebounds and 3.7 assists while shooting 61.1 percent from the floor during the 2020-21 campaign.

That said, that season is the only time he's been fully healthy at the NBA level. He was limited to 24 games during his rookie season because of a knee injury and missed all of the 2021-22 season amid foot surgery.

The Pelicans gave Williamson a five-year, $193 million max contract despite those injury concerns, though there were some fail-safes baked into the deal. According to Christian Clark of Nola.com, the sum of Williamson's weight and body fat percentage must be below 295 at all times during the contract. If Williamson goes over that 295 mark, the team can reduce his guaranteed money.

Williamson is listed at 284 pounds, meaning his body fat cannot be more than 11 percent if he's playing at his listed weight. Tim MacMahon of ESPN reported Williamson was weighing in at 330 pounds at one point last season. That means Williamson will likely need to lose 40- 50 pounds from his peak weight in order to have a chance of meeting his contractual obligations.

Guillory's report indicated Williamson has hired a personal chef and has been working with trainers throughout the offseason to go into next season at his optimal condition.

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