Photo: Getty
  /  09.28.2022

The Notorious B.I.G. continues to inspire the next generation of talent. NBA superstar Zion Williamson recently opened up about how he turned to music by the late rapper for inspiration while grappling with his own challenges in this thing called life.

On Monday (Sept. 26), a noticeably smaller Williamson was approached by reporters during the New Orleans Pelicans Media Day about how he managed to go through such a huge transformation. “I’ve learned to appreciate this process,” he said. “I can never really put it into words with all the adversity and all the cons, but for me, The Notorious B.I.G. album, Ready To Die, that album lyrically, how he talked about [the] stress [of] what he was dealing with, just feeling the weight of the world on your shoulders and you feel like you’re standing alone. That album really helped me shift my mindset and just find true resolve in the game.”

Earlier this year, Williamson, who was the No. 1 pick for the Pelicans during the 2019 NBA Draft, signed a five-year $193 million deal to extend his time with the team. While the lucrative contract seems exciting, it did come with one stipulation – the North Carolina native is to maintain a certain weight throughout the course of the agreement. Per its terms, Williamson is to weigh in at less than 295 pounds for the length of the deal.

If he does not meet the conditions, the money in Williamson’s contract could potentially be reduced. Throughout the course of his career, the power forward has missed 44 games, all during his rookie season, due to significant lower body injuries. “I’m 22. I’ve been through a lot in the past year and some change,” Williamson continued during the media day. “Some things you didn’t wish happened, but from that album, you just learn that’s life.”

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