Zion Williamson’s weight did not cause his knee injury, New Orleans Pelicans vice president of basketball operations David Griffin said on Tuesday.
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Williamson will be sidelined for up to eight weeks with a torn meniscus in his knee. The 6ft 7in, 280lb forward could return as soon as six weeks, the team said on Monday.
“The notion that this happened because Zion is in poor condition is asinine,” Griffin said Tuesday before the Pelicans opened the season at Toronto. “He wasn’t in poor condition when he went 12-of-13 last week. That’s not what it is. He’s just a very unique body type and certainly from a physics perspective.”
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Griffin called Williamson an “elite athlete” and compared his body composition to that of Detroit Pistons forward Blake Griffin.
No 1 draft pick Zion Williamson soared to the rim for an explosive dunk in the New Orleans Pelicans’ preseason win over the Atlanta Hawks
“Less weight, less torque is a theory,” David Griffin said. “But you look at a player like Blake Griffin, who generated enormous torque and had the issues he had his career. It took a while for him to find stasis in his body, and we think that could be the same with Zion.”
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David Griffin said the Pelicans used an extended timetable for Williamson’s return, knowing that sometimes a franchise has to protect a player from themselves. Even so, he expects Williamson to be pushing to play soon.
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“We are extremely optimistic that he is going to be really, really good coming out of this,” Griffin said. “I’m a firm believer that a lot of times these things are blessings in disguise. You sort of reset the deck now and he gets to realise what’s in front of him, and I think that’s a good thing.”
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