Stephen A. Smith, Zion Williamson, Get Up Screen grab: ESPN;s ‘Get Up’

Back in December, Stephen A. Smith made a point — on multiple occasions — to let everyone know that he thinks that Zion Williamson is fat.

And in case you were wondering, two months later, Smith’s concerns remain.

During a segment on ESPN’s Get Up on Friday morning, host Mike Greenberg asked Smith which NBA team is under the most pressure entering the second half of the regular season. And while discussing the New Orleans Pelicans, the First Take host opted to play the hits, once again taking potshots at their star player’s weight.

“Zion Williamson, it’s not about his game. It’s about how many burgers he’s eating and whether or not he’s going to be in shape or is he going to keep eating McDonald’s and keep having chefs clamoring for him to come to their restaurants,” Smith said. “That’s what he has to prove: that the chefs don’t love him any longer. That he’s committed to playing basketball and being in shape.”

Smith’s comment regarding New Orleans chefs was a callback to his previous comments regarding Williamson’s weight.

“His affliction is food. He can’t stop eating. How would I know this? Could it be because chefs in New Orleans love him? That could be one reason. That’s what I’ve heard,” Smith said on The Stephen A. Smith Show in December. “Could it be that New Orleans is one of the best cities in America if not the best city in America when it comes to restaurants and food? Sure. But the ultimate evidence was his belly.”

Considering his extensive injury history, questions regarding Williamson’s willingness and/or ability to stay in shape are fair, but it’s curious that Smith hasn’t been more sensitive about the subject. Even if the Duke product’s problem is that he can’t stop eating McDonald’s — as Smith suggested — that’s still something that should be treated with more compassion than fat shaming.

Clearly, somebody with the Pelicans caught wind of Smith’s comments. But rather than responding directly to the criticisms of Williamson’s weight, the team’s official X account merely posted a screenshot of Smith’s less-than-stellar basketball stat line (a viral meme Smith has previously denied as accurate).

For what it’s worth, Williamson has played in 45 of New Orleans’ first 56 games this season and is averaging a team-high 22.5 points on 58.5 percent shooting. While his weight — and general health — might still be of concern, that hasn’t stopped the 2-time All-Star from leading the Pelicans to fifth place in the Western Conference with a 34-22 record.

[PelsFilmRoom, Get Up]

About Ben Axelrod

Ben Axelrod is a veteran of the sports media landscape, having most recently worked for NBC's Cleveland affiliate, WKYC. Prior to his time in Cleveland, he covered Ohio State football and the Big Ten for outlets including Cox Media Group, Bleacher Report, Scout and Rivals.