Latest Zion Williamson update could spell trouble for the rest of the NBA

Zion Williamson
Zion Williamson / Sean Gardner/GettyImages

The New Orleans Pelicans have been on a tear of late and partly have star Zion Williamson to thank. That turn of events is dramatic, to say the least. After all, Zion has struggled with weight issues since joining the NBA, so much so that the Pelicans were reportedly recently frustrated by his lack of commitment to his diet. However, after being publicly called out, Zion has seemingly done a complete 180. 

According to ESPN's Brian Windhorst, he has dropped 25 pounds since the December In-season tournament. That means he has basically dropped eight pounds a month as the season has wore on. Unsurprisingly, both Zion and the Pelicans are thriving.

What Zion's weight-loss means for the Pelicans' title hopes

Zion has averaged a terrific 22.8 points, 5.9 rebounds and 5.2 assists in 37 games since December 9, 2023—the end of the tournament. Meanwhile, the Pelicans have an impressive 29-15 record since that date, have the fifth-best record in the Western Conference and have a great chance at a top-four seed.

The last time they were 15 games above .500 was all the way back in 2011 with Chris Paul, David West, and Tyson Chandler leading the charge, and this incarnation is certainly hoping to go deep in the playoffs like that team did.

Zion's dramatic weight loss bodes well for the Pelicans since it suggests that he is finally taking his career seriously. It should also help him stay healthy, with less wear and tear on his knees. The results have been promising.

Although his numbers are down from their peak in 2020–21, he needs to appear in just six more games to surpass his career-high in games played. He's not likely to become an NBA ironman overnight but, hopefully, this is a sign that he has begun to put the injuries behind him. 

Ultimately, with the Pelicans playing their best basketball in more than a decade and Zion's sudden weight loss, they should be at full strength as they enter the playoffs for the first time with Zion.