Zion Williamson’s NBA Summer League campaign lasted just nine minutes. His former Duke coach doesn’t think he should’ve been playing at all.
“I thought really he never should’ve played just because he’s been on this circuit of awards, the ESPYs, everything,” Mike Krzyzewski told Forbes at the Peach Jam. “I don’t think he’s in playing shape or the mental shape to play.”
Williamson scored 11 points during his short stint against the Knicks, notably ripping the ball out of Kevin Knox II’s hands to set up a thunderous dunk. However, he injured his knee during the first half, prompting the Pelicans to shut him down for the rest of Summer League.
Listed at 6 feet 7 and 285 pounds, Williamson became the second-heaviest player in the league the moment he was drafted first overall, behind 7-foot-3 Boban Marjanovic.
Some analysts, including ESPN’s Seth Greenberg, have raised concerns about Williamson’s weight and fitness, fearing it may lead to more injuries. Williamson missed six games last season at Duke due to a knee injury.
“My concern isn’t about his game, my concern is about his body,” Greenberg said Thursday. “I mean, you can’t improve unless you’re in shape, and he is not in shape.
“Watching him in the Summer League, he played nine minutes. Look, he ripped the ball out of Kevin Knox’s hands, that’s great. He couldn’t move. He couldn’t move. And in the end, if he’s going to have a long career … When [Charles] Barkley was at his very best, he got in world-class shape. And it’s nothing to do with his weight. To me, it has to do with his conditioning. And right now, he’s in condition to get hurt, not to be a great player.”
Click Here: Sports Water Bottles
Zion Williamsons NBA Summer League comes to a sad end
The Zion Williamson Show is taking a summer hiatus The…
Still, Williamson’s injury doesn’t appear to be serious. Pelicans executive VP David Griffin said the decision to hold out their prized asset during exhibition games was purely precautionary.
“Zion will move forward from this issue without incident,” Griffin said. “However, in an abundance of caution, we have made the determination that he will not appear in game action for the remainder of the NBA Summer League. He will continue to take part in training and conditioning with our performance team.”
“Yeah, he’s OK,” Krzyzewski said.