If Zion Williamson is “jumping higher” then the NBA is in trouble

New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson Credit: Andrew Wevers-USA TODAY Sports
New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson Credit: Andrew Wevers-USA TODAY Sports /

Zion Williamson was all smiles at New Orleans Pelicans’ media day yesterday, as fans and reporters got their first look at star forward as he tries to make his comeback from injury.

It was the polar opposite from last year, when Zion showed up injured and looking considerably heavier than he does now, which you can see in the inevitable before and after shots that were circulating all over the Internet yesterday:

The whole vibe around the team is different going into this season, as the Pelicans finally have some stability in their roster and coaching staff after inking Zion Williamson and CJ McCollum to extensions and bringing back head coach Willie Green and his staff after they did a fantastic job in his first season.

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The most important part of Zion’s transformation (other than it shows a renewed sense of commitment to his craft) is how it will affect his performance on the court, and if what he is saying is true, the league is in trouble.

New Orleans Pelicans: Zion Williamson’s weight loss and hops

Zion Williamson has only played in 85 games in his young career, but has already mythologized himself as one of the best dunkers in the league. We put together a compilation of some of his best dunks here, and few players in the league have combined power and flight like Zion, and none were his size.

Zion’s double jump move (which was studied at Duke) was already devastating as Zion was able to grab his own misses before the defender could get off the ground.

Now that he is slimmer, Zion says,

"“I feel like I’m moving faster, jumping higher. I just feel great.”"

Jumping higher? If Zion is actually moving quicker and jumping higher he is going to be next to impossible to stop as he was already. He’s seeing that commitment to his body is paying dividends and allowing him to do things he couldn’t do in the past:

It’s not as if Zion is suddenly dainty, but staying in top shape and working out efficiently will hopefully reduce his chances for injury and allow him to play big minutes while improving on the things he was already very good at.

I think fans of the New Orleans Pelicans are in for something special this season from Zion Williamson, and if he can stay healthy, we could see him make a run at MVP.

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