Zion Williamson to spend offseason working on play and body


For New Orleans Pelicans rookie Zion Williamson, it’s time to turn the page on next season and focus on improving himself – with his game and his body.

“I’m going to talk to my coaches and see what I need to do best from their perspective,” Williamson said Thursday morning. “Talk to my player development coaches as well, see what I need to do better from their perspective. Just work on every part of my game and work to bring my body to where it needs to be. ”

When asked where he needed his body, Williamson replied, “This is a conversation I will have with my team. We’ll sit down, see what they need to make me do better, so I can give you a better answer for that. ”

The 2019-20 season has been a matter of ups and downs for Williamson, who will not play in Thursday’s season finale against the Orlando Magic. He was injured early in the season, began to find his balance before the break, then found himself on a “burst restriction” in the NBA bubble in Orlando, Florida.

Williamson’s weight – he’s valued at 285 pounds – has been a topic of discussion since he was at Duke for his only college season. Once he returned to the bubble after a family medical emergency and 13 days off from basketball activities, his weight and conditioning were again at the forefront of the conversation.

“Everyone is entitled to their own opinion,” said Williamson. “But I’m going to stick to the opinions of the people closest to me and my team and go from there. ”

In 24 games, Williamson averaged 22.5 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists while shooting 58.3% from the field and 6 of 14 to 3 points – although four of those 3 points were in his debut against the San Antonio Spurs. in January. According to ESPN Stats & Information, Williamson is the second rookie in NBA history to average 20 points per game while shooting at least 55 percent from the field, joining Shaquille O’Neal (1992-93).

Still, it was difficult for Williamson to find a rhythm as he missed the first 43 games of the season following surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee. He also went through restrictions in his first few games before starting to find his rhythm before the break.

“There were a few tough times where I was trying to find a rhythm,” said Williamson. “It’s part of the game and coming back from an injury. But you know, I feel like the coaches and coaching staff handled it really well. Just to be able to play a minute in an NBA game, I’m thankful for that. . ”

The Pelicans failed to advance to the playoffs, but Williamson said this season can be a “starting point” for the franchise.

“I think we could still have bumps and bruises, but I feel like the chemistry is going to be a lot better,” he said. “If we keep building this and have fun with it, I think we’ll be fine. … I think our future is bright. But we have to work for it. That’s all I can say about it. “


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