Stephen A. Smith Sparks War of Words with Pelicans Over Zion Williamson’s Fitness

In a recurring critique, ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith took another shot at Zion Williamson’s fitness on “Get Up,” emphasizing concerns about the young star’s weight and conditioning. Despite Zion’s impressive performance in a recent game against the Rockets, Smith contended that the focus should be on Williamson’s physical shape rather than his game.

Smith didn’t mince words, expressing doubt about Zion’s commitment to basketball and suggesting that the player needs to prove he’s dedicated to staying in shape rather than indulging in unhealthy habits. The criticism has become a recurring theme for Smith since Zion’s entry into the NBA in 2019.

Unusually, the Pelicans swiftly defended Williamson on social media, countering Smith’s remarks by highlighting his college playing statistics at Winston-Salem State. Smith quickly responded, attributing his lack of success to a devastating knee injury and challenging the Pelicans on their overall performance.

The exchange escalated as the Pelicans posted a montage mocking Smith’s on-court skills and off-court blunders, including a notorious first pitch at Yankee Stadium. Smith, however, remained undeterred, insisting on his commitment to watching and critiquing the game throughout the season.

Smith fired back, asserting that he won’t let the exchange distract him, as he remains a fan of several players, the coach, and the city itself. He challenged the Pelicans to perform on the court, emphasizing his unwavering presence in the sports commentary realm.

Amidst the verbal sparring, it’s noteworthy that Williamson has been delivering solid performances on the court, averaging 22.5 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 4.9 assists per game this season, with an impressive 58.5 percent shooting accuracy heading into the upcoming matchup against the Heat. The war of words adds an intriguing layer to the ongoing scrutiny surrounding Zion Williamson’s career.

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