JJ Redick is a former teammate of Zion Williamson, which makes his piercing monologue against Williamson on NBA Today on Friday that much more intense.
Following Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans’ awful loss to the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Cup semifinals in Las Vegas, Redick shredded Williamson over his lack of discipline, his refusal to take his physical fitness seriously, and his denial of all the NBA vets in his ear trying to help.
“Overall, I’ve been disappointed in Zion this season,” Redick said. “He’s not in shape. He’s still not in shape despite everything he’s gone through. Despite numerous conversations with legends of the game about being in shape. He gets called out on national television once or twice a year for this very thing.”
“The reality is Zion Williamson has not bought in to his own career yet.”
— JJ Redick on Zion pic.twitter.com/0kqqhm8IG5
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) December 8, 2023
Beyond his weight and injury concerns, Redick also made the case that Williamson just does not take his profession seriously.
“Zion Williamson has not bought into his own career,” Redick said. “And that is disappointing because as someone who’s a fan of his, a former teammate, a fellow Duke, I know and we all know how great he can be. We’ve seen those flashes of greatness. But to do that for an extended period of time, to reach his potential … he’s never going to get there if he doesn’t buy in to his own career.”
This week, TNT analyst Charles Barkley again criticized Williamson for his style of play and how his body is holding him back. Barkley dealt with the same issues but turned himself into an NBA MVP by approaching his career with real discipline.
Nearly every NBA analyst or sports media talking head has ranted about Williamson at one time or another. But as a former teammate and Duke compatriot, Redick’s words ring louder than others’.