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John Williams - the only NBA player to get suspended for being overweight

Zion Williamson is one of the heaviest active NBA players
Zion Williamson is one of the heaviest active NBA players
Adit Pujari
ANALYST

On the list of currently active NBA players, there are many that can be categorized as being on the heavier side. Boston Celtics Tacko Fall weighs 311 lbs and is the heaviest player in the league, followed closely by Boban Marjanovic of the Dallas Mavericks, who weighs 290 lbs.

However, there are only two NBA players that exceed even the overweight BMI limit and lie in the obese category. The players with more than 30 body mass index are Zion Williamson and Udoka Azubuike.

Gilbert Arenas explains why Zion Williamson needs to lose weight and should be playing shooting guard. #NoChillPodcast https://t.co/ReIP1YBLRQ

While Azubuike has played only 15 regular season games in his career, Zion is a regular starter for the New orleans Pelicans and has played in 85 games in his career. Analysts, including Stephen A. Smith, often worry about the impact Williamson's weight has on his longevity and body.

Only NBA player to get suspended for being overweight

However, no other player in the history of the NBA has ever been more criticized or punished for being overweight than former LA Clippers player John Williams. John Williams is in fact the only player in the history of the league to have been suspended for a whole season for being overweight.

During his time with the Washington Bullets, Williams was a rookie with potential under the rim. His size and strength allowed him to overwhelm opposition players inside the paint. But due to a knee injury, the former LSU star was suspended by the Bullets for the entire 1991-92 NBA season after his weight crossed 300 pounds while in rehab.

A battle between Williams and the Washington team ensued and the team now called the Washington Wizards sent their No. 34 to LA Clippers. At a time when addictions were not approached sensitively, John was ridiculed for his struggle with over-eating. In an article published in the New York Times, dated November 17, 1994, author Ira Berkow crudely summarized the player's predicament.

He wrote: This is John (Hot Plate) Williams, as some have referred to him, or John (Meals on Wheels) Williams, or John (I'll Take Seconds) Williams, who is playing for a nonguaranteed $350,000 contract, while others with far less talent have guaranteed contracts in the millions.

Truly a player with potential, one can only assume what a healthier, fitter John Williams could have achieved in the NBA but there is no denying that when healthy, he showed great potential.


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Edited by Arnav Kholkar
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