Pelicans GM: Speculation Zion Williamson’s injury resulted from bad conditioning is just asinine

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Pelicans general manager David Griffin aggressively addressed the speculation about Zion Williamson’s knee injury Tuesday.

Williamson, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft and the most heralded rookie since LeBron James, will miss the first six to eight weeks of the season after undergoing meniscus surgery on his right knee.

It’s bad enough the Pelicans will be without their star rookie for almost a quarter of the season, but Griffin is not about to listen to the speculation that Williamson’s injury is the result of poor conditioning or the size he carries on his hefty 6-7, 285-pound body.

“The notion that this happened because Zion is in poor condition is just asinine,” Griffin told reporters Tuesday. “He wasn’t in poor condition when he went 12 of 13 last week against Utah. That’s not what it is. He’s just a very unique body type and certainly from a physics perspective.”

Yes, Williamson is big, but Griffin called him a “freak of nature” in terms of his size, athletic ability and conditioning.

“I’ve seen the narrative out there about him (that) this happened because he’s not in shape and he’s too big,” Griffin said. “That dude is a freak of nature. When he went through his physical, he ran on the treadmill longer than the cardio-stress test people have ever needed to put anybody through a test to get his heart rate up. That happened because he’s touched by the hand of God to do this. He’s in elite condition. He stays in elite condition.”

The Pelicans lost their season opener Tuesday, 130-122, in overtime to the Raptors.

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