Charles Barkley has a message for Zion Williamson

Charles Barkley. (Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images)
Charles Barkley. (Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images) /

One of the most common player comparisons for Zion Williamson when he was going through the draft process was none other than “The Round Mound of Rebound” himself, Charles Barkley. So, it is fitting that he is the one to offer the New Orleans Pelicans’ forward a word of advice to help him overcome his early career injury issues.

As many of you are surely aware, the early portion of Williamson’s career has been plagued with a myriad of injuries. Of the 308 regular season games Williamson has been eligible to participate in, he’s only played in 114 of them (so 37% of games).

During a recent episode of his podcast “The Steam Room,” Barkley touched on this very topic. He had this to say about the matter:

"“Zion Williamson, yo man, I don’t know you. We’ve never met. But somebody got to tell you, ‘Yo man, you gotta get in shape.’ Because you are going to keep getting hurt if you’re out of shape. I don’t think the coach has enough power to tell you what to do. I don’t think David Griffin – who is a friend of mine – has enough power to tell you what to do. I’m so blessed for Moses Malone. [He] told me to get my fat a** in shape and made me lose 50 pounds. It changed the whole dynamic of my life. I hope you don’t take this the wrong way. I want you to be a great basketball player. I’ve been in your shoes, being very talented, being overweight, and, like I said, I thank God everyday for Moses. Rest in peace."

Barkley went on to add that he would love to fill the same role that Malone played for him for Williamson.

Regardless of how you feel about the validity of Barkley’s comments (I personally think Williamson is in better shape than Barkley ever was during his playing days and that the concerns with his physique are a bit overblown), there is no question that he is sincere in his commentary.

Barkley sees a lot of himself in Williamson, and it seems like he wants to see him overcome his early career injuries. For Williamson’s sake (and the sake of this fanbase and franchise as a whole), let’s hope that fortune smiles at Williamson soon, and that he’s able to carve out a Hall of Fame career for himself, just like Barkley (and Malone) did, all those years ago.

Next. Who the scouts think the Pelicans should take at 14. dark