NBA legend Charles Barkley calls out Zion Williamson’s lack of fitness: “He needs to get in shape”

During his time at Duke and in his early NBA career, Zion Williamson stunned fans with his spectacular dunks and agility. Because of these extraordinary skills, he was able to secure a hefty supermax contract extension. Williamson, though, has recently garnered interest for more than just his basketball skills.

The forward All-Star had a bad time with injuries, due to which he could only play 114 games in four seasons. His reported lack of workouts and subsequent weight gain have also become a source of humor. Zion has recently been under fire from NBA great Charles Barkley, who has criticized his lifestyle choices and pointed out that, given his wealth, Zion should not need reminders to prioritize physical fitness.

Zion Williamson faces criticism from Barkley

Constant health and fitness issues have plagued Zion Williamson throughout his NBA career. Due to this, Zion has not lived up to the expectations, being the first overall pick in the NBA draft. The number of games Williamson has missed over his career due to injury has unfortunately overshadowed his on-court accomplishments.

Charles Barkley recently spoke out about Williamson, urging the young player to address his weight and fitness. Barkley believes that Williamson needs to do this if he is going to maintain his level of performance for the whole season.

“He needs to get in shape, plain and simple,” Barkley stated candidly. “This is professional basketball. We’re not babysitters. To make the kind of money these guys are making today, I don’t think it’s a lot to tell guys to get in shape.” Barkley further expressed concern about Williamson’s support system, suggesting that he may not have the right guidance and influence around him. Barkley added, “Your family and friends should say, ‘Yo, man, you’re going to screw up your future.'”

 “It’s not fair to the Pelicans. It’s not fair to the NBA. But the bottom line is, he just has to get in shape, plain and simple. And listen, hire a chef. The kind of money he’s making, hire yourself a personal chef. So he just has to grow up, plain and simple.”

The forward’s fitness issues continue to be a big worry for his career trajectory, as he has featured in only 29 games since 2021. Which includes missing the full 2022 season due to a foot ailment.

NBA star Zion openly confesses to his diet battles

Zion Williamson acknowledged the difficulties of keeping a healthy lifestyle as he spoke about the struggles he has had with his nutrition and fitness on the “Gils Arena Podcast” with Gilbert Arenas. As a rookie player in the league, he discussed the financial pressures he faces.

“There are times where I will say, ‘Man, that s**t hard.’ It’s hard, man, like 20, 22, it’s a lot of money. Feels like all the money in the world, man. It is hard,” Williamson said. “But I’m at that point now where, because of certain things, I’m putting back wisdom around me. .. Just people around me with wisdom, who put me on the game to certain things, and go from there,” he added.


Zion Williamson’s motivation to get fit and to be able to play shows his commitment to the sport and his team and fans. Once he gets fit he shall have to prove his worth in NBA by giving a good performance.


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