Stephen A. Smith took things to another level during Monday’s “First Take” while discussing Pelicans’ star Zion Williamson’s weight.
The former No. 1 overall pick has faced increased scrutiny over his weight and conditioning, and a New Orleans Times-Picayune report last week indicated that the Pelicans had become frustrated with Williamson over the ongoing issue.
Williamson’s performance this season and during Thursday’s in-season tournament game between the Lakers and Pelicans only fueled that and led to Smith harshly going after Williamson.
But things took a bizarre turn on Monday when the famed ESPN talking head claimed Williamson was beloved by Chefs in NOLA, seeming to imply that it’s due to how much he eats.
“You got chefs in New Orleans who love him,” Smith said. “They’re looking for him. Every chef there wants to meet him because they know he’ll show up to their restaurant. The word out on Zion Williamson is that ‘he’ll eat the table.’ I’m quoting. ‘He’ll eat the table.’”
Williamson was severely outplayed in Thursday’s game against the Lakers and superstar LeBron James ran circles around him.
Williamson had just 13 points and three assists in the game, while James had 30 points and eight assists.
“He’s more than 15 years younger than LeBron James. LeBron James is in his 21st season,” Smith said. “Forget the talent because we know Zion Williamson is a big-time talent. The conditioning. I saw the brother go to the free throw line, it looked like he had a belly. He looked like he had a belly. It is shameful.”
There’s certainly no denying that Williamson’s numbers have been less than stellar this year.
Through 19 games, he’s averaged 22.2 points, 5.6 rebounds and shot 57.4 percent from the field, which are all career lows for him.
Smith has gone on the offensive over the issue of Williamson’s weight and conditioning all weekend, even spending time on Saturday’s edition of “The Stephen A. Smith Show” to criticize him over it.
And that carried over to Monday on ESPN.
“What in the hell is going on with Zion Williamson?” Smith ranted on Monday. “If Zion Williamson is healthy, conditioned, not missing 63 percent of his games like he has thus far in his career, New Orleans got a chance to be in a conference championship game.
“Without him, they’re going home in the first round. Have you no pride? Have you no discipline? Have you no focus? Get your stuff together, young man. Get your stuff together. You are too great to be walking around looking as rotund as you’re looking! Get it together!”
This story originally appeared on NYPost