New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson recently opened up about the difficulties he has faced in staying on the court throughout his young NBA career. Speaking on the “Gil’s Arena” podcast hosted by Gilbert Arenas, Williamson acknowledged the struggle he has encountered thus far. With just 114 regular-season games played over four years, the talented athlete shared insights into the obstacles he has encountered and the steps he is taking to overcome them.
The Battle to Maintain Physical Health
During the podcast, Williamson addressed the topic of maintaining a healthy lifestyle to stay in optimal game shape. The 20-year-old athlete admitted that it is not an easy task, particularly given his youth and financial security. Having the means and freedom to indulge, he acknowledged the challenges of making disciplined choices. However, Williamson revealed that he has recognized the importance of seeking wisdom from those around him who can guide him in making better decisions. By surrounding himself with experienced individuals, he aims to gain valuable insights and knowledge to support his journey.
At 6-foot-6 and 284 pounds, Williamson acknowledged that some of his struggles stem from a sense of invincibility commonly associated with youth. He emphasized the need to consider the impact of his actions on those around him and to listen to individuals who genuinely have his best interests at heart. Reflecting on his past experiences, Williamson mentioned the hamstring injury he suffered in January 2022, which ultimately resulted in him missing the final 45 games of the season. Additionally, he highlighted the foot fracture he sustained before the 2021-22 season, leading to him being unable to participate in any games that year.
Taking Responsibility for Improvement
Acknowledging the insights shared by Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin, Williamson recognized that he plays a significant role in his own availability. He expressed his belief that there are areas in which he can improve and expressed a determination to rectify any past mistakes. Drawing inspiration from his former coach at Duke, Mike Krzyzewski, Williamson stressed the importance of taking ownership of his responsibilities and committing to personal growth.
Learning from LeBron James
In his quest to prepare for the upcoming season, Williamson revealed that he has looked to Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James for inspiration. Focusing on flexibility and incorporating band work into his training routine, he believes these measures will contribute to his longevity on the court. Rather than solely focusing on losing weight, Williamson believes that his approach will enable him to remain active and excel in his performances.
A Genuine Love for the Game
Williamson wanted to make one point clear to his audience: he does not miss games willingly. As a passionate basketball player, he expressed his desire to be on the court alongside his teammates. Observing their games from the sidelines, he feels confident that his presence could have a significant impact on the outcome. Williamson emphasized that he genuinely loves the game and does not wish to be sidelined due to injuries. He hopes that people will understand his unwavering commitment to the sport and his eagerness to contribute to his team’s success.
Zion Williamson’s interview on the “Gil’s Arena” podcast shed light on the challenges he has faced in staying on the court throughout his young NBA career. Despite the setbacks he has encountered, Williamson remains committed to improving his physical well-being and making better choices. Taking inspiration from experienced athletes like LeBron James, he aims to prioritize flexibility and strength to enhance his performance. Most importantly, Williamson’s love for the game shines through as he expresses his desire to be an active participant rather than a spectator.