New Orleans Pelicans rookie Zion Williamson is one of the most highly anticipated first-year players in recent NBA memory, given his unique combination of speed, power and freakish athleticism. Another thing that’s unique about Zion? His physique.
He has drawn comparisons to a young Charles Barkley, but really we’ve never seen a player with a body like Zion’s who can do the things that he does on the basketball court. Last season, Williamson opened eyes by weighing in at 285 pounds before his only season at Duke. Now, another one of his measurements has fans scratching their chins.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Williamson’s height was officially measured at 6-6 recently — a bit surprising considering Williamson was listed at 6-7 last year at Duke. We’ve heard of young players growing over the course of their careers, but they rarely shrink. From Charania:
“With the NBA installing new rules for teams to verify accurate player heights, as the New York Times reported last week, here is one of the most notable entries so far: No. 1 overall pick Zion Williamson measured officially at 6-foot-6, league sources said. The phenom was listed at 6-foot-7 during his freshman season at Duke.”
Before everyone rushes to label this the first sign that the No. 1 overall pick will be a bust, it’s not actually all that surprising. The NBA has reportedly given a mandate this season that all players be listed at their actual heights — without shoes on. Because shoes generally add an inch or so, it makes logical sense that Williamson would now measure at 6-6 instead of 6-7.
And really, Zion’s height isn’t a matter of concern. Anyone with decent vision can see that Williamson’s leaping ability is second to none, and he famously broke the Duke vertical leap record last summer. Are we really concerned that the guy who did this earlier this week is “only” 6-foot-6?
The more intriguing metric regarding Zion is his weight, as there is some concern about keeping the 19-year-old healthy given the force he exerts on his muscles and bones every night with his style of play. But surely the New Orleans strength and conditioning staff has already formulated a detailed plan to keep their prized asset at his ideal playing weight.
As for his height, he certainlyheading into the regular season.