Dan Le Batard on Zion Williamson Credit: The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz

Dan Le Batard is no stranger to difficulties managing his weight, and as NBA superstar Zion Williamson comes under fire for once again beginning the season out of shape, the Meadowlark Media co-founder is coming to his defense.

“While he needs to be professional, he is also a kid, very young still,” Le Batard said of Williamson after Stephen A. Smith, JJ Redick and others criticized his physical fitness in the past week. “Old media is not really going to understand young players, why would they?”

“The adults are going to rain down more and more judgment on the kids … we will keep getting crueler and crueler.”

Williamson underperformed in two NBA Cup games last week. His New Orleans Pelicans ultimately were eliminated by LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers in the semifinals.

“The audience by the way agrees with Stephen A. Smith, except perhaps people like me who have struggled with their weight all their life,” Le Batard said. “Zion Williamson has struggled with his weight for a while … [and] now people know about your sex business? That seems like it would be unpleasant.”

After producer Mike Ryan Ruiz pointed out Williamson could also just be the issue in the situation, not the Pelicans organization or the media, Le Batard agreed.

Still, Le Batard pointed to the preseason when Pelicans executives praised Williamson’s conditioning and said there must be more to the story.

“As someone who has struggled with his weight all his life without getting to the roots of why can’t I get this under control? Why can’t I figure [it] out, what am I pushing down with my food? Where am I repressed?” Le Batard questioned. “Why is my body working against me? I’m telling you it can be a wide spectrum of things.

“Maybe he’s just a lazy bum, maybe he just doesn’t care at all, maybe he’s a jerk who’s throwing it all away. Or maybe he struggles with his weight for reasons that he’s still to young to know about because I’m 50-bleeping-four and I still don’t know why I struggle with my weight.”

Certainly nobody knows the truth about Williamson, but Le Batard’s explanation resonates more than trashing the 23-year-old all the time.

[The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz]

About Brendon Kleen

Brendon is a Media Commentary staff writer at Awful Announcing. He has also covered basketball and sports business at Front Office Sports, SB Nation, Uproxx and more.