New Orleans Pelicans rookie Zion Williamson made his long-anticipated NBA debut on Wednesday night (Thursday morning IST). The 19-year-old had a slow start, scoring only 2 points in the first half. However, Zion picked up his pace in the final period of the game, scoring 22 points. 7 rebounds and 3 assists in 18 minutes.
Zion scored 2 points during the first half, opening his night with an assist to Brandon Ingram. He was sent to the bench thrice, before scoring back-to-back 17 points during Q4. He made 4-of-4 of his three-pointers while shooting 72.7% from the field. The Spurs beat the Pelicans 121-117.
Mark Jackson: If you ask me, Zion needs to lose some pounds— sreekar (@sreekyshooter) January 23, 2020
Jeff Van Gundy: What's the deal with pounds? Why is it a currency in some countries? That makes no sense! You're telling me I can pay with my weight???
Mark Jackson: With all due respect, he should consider liposuction
While Williamson was on the bench, NBA announcer Mark Jackson called out Zion for being 'too fat'. Jeff Van Gundy added that the NBA never 'fat' players play before. His weight was also displayed on the screen like stats. The comments led to people body shame Zion Williamson on Twitter, sharing memes and gifs about the 19-year-old. People also defended Zion, not happy with Mark Jackson calling out his weight.
It would be great if announcers didn’t feel the need to call Zion fat 3 minutes into his career. Would make for a much better product, imo.— Sam Vecenie (@Sam_Vecenie) January 23, 2020
During the Pelicans pre-season games, Zion Williamson suffered from a meniscus injury which would sideline him for more than two months. Since December 2019, Zion was seen practising with the team on the court, gearing up for his debut. While with Duke University, Zion averaged at 22.6 points, 8.9 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 2.1 steals, and 1.8 blocks in 33 games. He has also suffered from injuries before, playing for only a few minutes in the summer league before being withdrawn.