The tenure of Zion Williamson in the NBA could be dramatically shortened if his health doesn’t progress properly, according to a sports injury doctor.
A regular NBA player’s stint in the NBA spans typically 10 to 15 years. If they’re lucky like Lebron or Dirk, they can go for more than 17 years. Upon entering, the players normally take five to seven years to develop before entering their peak performance. However, the developmental years are getting shorter and shorter.
Players from college are entering the league like pros. As such, the quality of the game from rookies and sophomores are getting better. However, there are instances when rookies peak too early starting in college that they fail in the pros. The NBA is hoping that Zion isn’t an example of this case.
The health of Zion Williamson is in jeopardy
Mayo Clinic affiliated Dr. Brian Sutterer is worried about Zion’s health. For the record, Sutterer hasn’t done any physical examination of the rookie’s health. His statements are all based on his analysis of Zion’s health. Nonetheless, his opinions matter because he’s studied the case closely. The main concern is the status of Williamson’s body. Sutterer said,
“If you go watch his Duke highlights compared to now, the difference is profound. In my opinion, his athleticism and conditioning have regressed substantially.”
The observation is accurate. The Pelicans have been ultra-cautious about his health. He’s only played 19 games before the season was stopped. In the bubble, his minutes were kept under 25 minutes. Zion has been itching to play at a high level, but the team is looking after his health. If not, a career-ending injury could be a disaster waiting to happen. Sutterer explains,
“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.”
Pelicans are out of the Playoffs
The hype surrounding the Pelicans before the restart was high. Unfortunately, they’ve fallen flat on their faces with an early exit from the bubble by failing to win enough games. The Pels couldn’t find success early in the restart, and the Blazers and Suns took advantage of it.
Lillard and the Blazers are now just 0.5 games behind the Grizzlies. On the other hand, the Suns are surging to keep its five-game win streak alive to boot the Grizz from the eighth spot. If that happens, the play-in system will kick in between the Blazers and the Suns.
An early exit from the bubble could be beneficial for Williamson to figure out his health. If four months weren’t enough for him to recover, maybe another four months can do the trick. If not, the Pelicans may have to pivot yet again after getting their hopes up too high.