Charles Barkley admits never meeting the former No. 1 pick zion williamson before, but the NBA legend gave some tips for the pelicans star who has been overtaken by various injuries in his young professional career.
During the 2022-23 season, Williamson did not play after January 2 due to a hamstring injury. The forward has missed at least part of his four NBA seasons due to injuries.
Barkley compared Williamson’s young career to his own in certain ways, advising the Pelicans forward to “get in shape” to stay healthier for the rest of his career.
“Someone has to tell you, like, ‘Man, you’ve got to get in shape, because you’re going to keep getting hurt if you’re not in shape.'” Barkley said in the steam room podcast. “I am so blessed by Moses Malone who told me to get my fat ass in shape and made me lose 50 pounds. He changed the whole dynamic of my life. I hope you don’t take it the wrong way. I want you to be a great basketball player. I’ve been in your shoes, being very talented, being overweight.”
"I’ve been in your shoes… All you have to do is get in shape."
Chuck gives Zion Williamson some advice pic.twitter.com/pFmVjLSwak
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) May 25, 2023
Barkley didn’t mean to hurt Williamson with his comments, as he said, but losing those 50 pounds really helped the trajectory of Barkley’s 16-year career, in which he was named an 11-time All-Star and won the 1993 MVP award. He made it clear that he would like to see Williamson respond in a similar way so that his career also has more longevity.
Williamson’s long injury timeline began in his rookie season in 2019 when the Pelicans star tore his meniscus. The following season, he suffered a broken thumb. He then missed the entire 2021-22 season due to a broken right foot.