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#pounditWednesday, June 19, 2024

Zion Williamson ignoring Pelicans’ conditioning demands?

Zion Williamson in a Pelicans jersey

Dec 17, 2022; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson (1) against the Phoenix Suns at Footprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Another unflattering report has emerged about Zion Williamson’s fitness and work ethic.

Christian Clark of the New Orleans Times-Picayune penned a critical piece about how Williamson’s lack of fitness is hurting the New Orleans Pelicans. The report contains one particularly troubling detail that reflects quite poorly on Williamson.

According to Clark, the Pelicans have “repeatedly stressed” to Williamson the importance of his diet and conditioning, but Williamson “doesn’t listen.”

This is not a new concern for Williamson, but it is a very bad sign if that concern still persists. The team was willing to call out the star forward publicly over his work ethic at the end of last season, and Williamson even publicly acknowledged that there were things he could do better in terms of diet and fitness. There seemed to be growing optimism heading into the season that Williamson had turned a corner in terms of his commitment.

The old problems have resurfaced in recent weeks as the Pelicans have gotten off to a middling start to the season. It has led to a new round of criticism regarding Williamson’s work habits, but this might be the most pointed yet.

Williamson has played in 19 of the Pelicans’ 23 games on the season so far, averaging 22.2 points and 5.6 rebounds per game.

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