Zion Williamson Nearly Broke the Basket With a Dunk at the NBA Rising Stars Game

The Pelicans rookie turned the game into an improvised dunk contest

Zion Williams dunks the ball
Zion Williamson dunks during the NBA Rising Stars Game.
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
By Luis Paez-Pumar / February 15, 2020 1:30 pm

Despite missing the first part of the season through a knee injury, New Orleans Pelicans star rookie Zion Williamson has already made his mark on the NBA. Through 10 games, the 19-year-old from Duke is averaging 22.1 points per game on 57.6 percent shooting to go along with 7.5 rebounds and at least one crazy highlight in each contest.

It should come as no surprise, then, that Williamson took the floor at his first All-Star event, the NBA Rising Stars Game, and immediately provided the moment of the night. At the end of the first half of the game featuring the best rookies and sophomores in the league, Williamson received the ball wide open down low — defense is not in demand during these exhibitions — and slammed it home so hard that he actually bent the entire rim.

The entire backboard was crooked after Williamson’s powerful slam, inspiring the commentators to coin what will likely become a trademark phrase: “There’s your rim. It’s been Zion’d.”

According to the Washington Post, Team USA had to play the final moments of the first half on the crooked basket before officials were able to fix it at halftime. Not a bad impact for an All-Star Weekend debut.

As tends to happen in these games, the young stars on hand turned it into a highlight reel of three-pointers and jams, but no one took center stage as much as last summer’s No. 1 overall pick. Williamson ended the game with 14 points, adding to the rim-damaging dunk with an array of other slams, a handful coming off of creative lobs from Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant.

While he didn’t receive the MVP award — that honor went to Charlotte Hornets forward Miles Bridges, who finished with 20 points as Team USA won 151-131 — Williamson definitely left the night with the most memorable highlight in a game full of them.

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Read the full story at The Washington Post

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