Zion Williamson is the most explosive rookie we have ever seen. His dunks are incredible, he blocks shots from a mile away and he’s just a huge beast of a man at his size of 6’7, 280 pounds. Any doubters of his skills were silenced this preseason when he averaged 23.3ppg, 6.5rpg, and over a steal per game. Pelicans fans should have a lot to be excited for, right? Wrong! Zion is out 6-8 weeks before even playing in a regular season game!
Zion’s injury news seemed to come out of nowhere. Williamson had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee for a torn meniscus. This type of injury is surprisingly common for players in the NBA. Luckily, most players can fully recover from a torn meniscus. Zion should be able to get healthy again as he is super young and clearly in great shape. The suspiciousness stems from the Pelicans being unable to figure out when this injury occurred. Could it be from the wear and tear Zion’s putting on his body and specifically his knees from his explosive playstyle? If his injury was due to how he plays the game, this becomes a big yikes.
We should all be happy that Zion can recover just fine from this injury. The big yikes comes when Zion needs to either change his playstyle or continue to get injured. Nobody wants to see a Derrick Rose 2.0 with the young Pelicans forward. Williamson has potential like we have never seen before. He’s 19 years old and clearly stronger than everyone he’s matched up against. If an efficient three-point shot can be established, this guy will have multiple MVP’s under his belt in no time. However, none of that will happen if he’s not playing due to injury.
Personally, I believe Zion will be just fine and will find a way to cut down on potential injuries. One solution is to lose weight. With how explosive he is, nearly 300 pounds is constantly crashing to the ground with all that weight going to his knees. He may need to lose a bit of weight to keep himself actively playing in games. That may come at the cost of some strength, but career longevity is well worth it. Zion is a once in a lifetime talent, and the Pelicans medical staff will do everything they can to keep him in tip-top shape. Without weight changes or playstyle changes, Zion can look forward to a career filled with knee and leg injuries.
-Brandon Black (Follow @bhblack02)