Griffin has heard the rumors about Williamson’s 285-pound frame being the leading contributor to his meniscus tear, which he suffered during the preseason. Williamson’s weight was also a topic of conversation from when he entered the NBA Draft through the Summer League.
“The notion that this happened because Zion is in poor condition is just asinine,” Griffin said, according to USA Today. “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.”
The 19-year-old was forced to be pulled from the Summer League after tweaking his knee and then left a preseason game against the Chicago Bulls early.
“I’ve seen the narrative out there about him and 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 No. 1 overall pick tore his right lateral meniscus and missed the final preseason game against the New York Knicks. He will be out for 6-8 weeks after having knee surgery, the team said this week.
The Pelicans were set to start Williamson alongside Lonzo Ball, Jrue Holiday, Brandon Ingram and Derrick Favors. The team acquired Ball and Ingram in a trade with the Los Angeles Lakers that sent Anthony Davis west.