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#pounditWednesday, October 4, 2023

Charles Barkley sends message to Zion Williamson about his fitness

Charles Barkley holds a microphone

November 23, 2018; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Turner Sports sportscaster Charles Barkley before The Match: Tiger vs Phil golf match at Shadow Creek Golf Course. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Charles Barkley thinks New Orleans Pelicans star Zion Williamson needs a wake-up call regarding health and fitness.

In an appearance on SiriusXM NBA Radio Friday, Barkley said he was concerned that Williamson might join a list of players who “eat their way out of the NBA,” and that the Pelicans star could use guidance like what Barkley got from Moses Malone while playing for the Philadelphia 76ers in the 1980s.

“I wish Zion had a vet on the team, a coach, who could say, ‘yo man, you got to get in shape, you can’t play basketball at your weight,'” Barkley said. “I was so blessed and fortunate that Moses told me.

“How many players have you seen eat their way out of the NBA? A lot of them. This is my 40th year. I can name at least ten guys. … Zion’s got so much power. The coach is afraid of (him) instead of telling (him) to grow up and get your crap together. I wish I could sit down with Zion and say ‘yo man, you got so much talent, but you’re going to have to lose some weight and get in shape, because unless you get in shape, you can’t play basketball.'”

Plenty of people have sent Williamson a message about his fitness after another injury-shortened season, including the team’s president. Barkley’s message is not necessarily new, but it is pretty blunt.

Williamson offered some pretty frustrating comments about the hamstring injury that lingered for much of the season and cost him the chance to play in the play-in tournament. Based on that, plenty would agree with Barkley’s desire to give the former No. 1 pick some tough love.


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