[The Athletic] - So Zion is important and not just for the sake of the New Orleans Pelicans. The big question hanging over the league is whether he’s capable of shouldering it all. Dr. Brian Sutterer, of sports injury YouTube fame, has been watching intently and has his concerns. “He’s in a race against his own body,” Dr. Sutterer said over the phone. “If you go watch his Duke highlights compared to now, the difference is profound. In my opinion, his athleticism and conditioning have regressed substantially. He’s less explosive, less conditioned, slower on defense, has already had a portion of his meniscus removed from his knee after an injury, and he’s still under close monitoring from the medical staff.”
“I feel like nobody really wants to call it like we all see it,” Dr. Sutterer said. “He’s trying to reverse a career trajectory that by the Pelicans’ own admission is worrisome as evidenced by his ‘reprogramming’ and scrutinized minutes. He had four months to start making positive strides and to me he’s regressed more. When will he finally start to reverse course? Will it be in time before more substantial fitness concerns and injuries limit him and threaten his career? Instead of outpacing these risks, I’m worried that Zion is losing the race.”
Oh yeah, this is the shit I'm talking about. The 'is Zion fat or not' debate has been discussed AT LENGTH over the last two years. Then he was an absolute freak at Duke. Yes, I'm man enough to admit that he was really fucking good at Duke. I'm complimenting a Duke player, I know. I also hated that he was there because he was just too damn cool for Duke. I need Bobby Hurley, Wojo, Shane Battier, those nerds to be at Duke instead of someone like Zion. That's besides the point though.
This sports doctor, who apparently is famous on YouTube, is just saying his body can't hold up with the NBA. I get it because yeah, like he's had the knee injury and he doesn't look as explosive where he's blocking shots like this:
But then like, you know, he looks like this:
I get the argument. It's fair. But maybe we should give him more than a half of a year in a pandemic to figure out whether or not his body holds up.