In the final minutes of a 128-117 win over the Phoenix Suns, Williamson got the ball with an empty court in front of him and used the occasion to deliver a 360 windmill dunk that wouldn’t have looked out of place as an NBA Slam Dunk Contest entry.
The crowd, predictably, loved it:
The dunk capped off a 35-point game for Williamson, who was 13-of-17 from the field with seven rebounds, four assists and a steal. Not a single one of his baskets came outside the paint.
Of course, not everyone loved Williamson’s display of dunking prowess. You can even hear a member of the Pelicans’ broadcast say “No, no, no” as Williamson prepares to take flight.
You could make an argument that yamming on a defeated team for no other reason than to show off is bad form, but let’s be real. The people in the Smoothie King Center paid good money to see, among other things, Zion Williamson dunk a basketball. They got to see him dunk a basketball even better than usual. Maybe it hurt the Suns’ feelings, an odd consideration given that they are professionals, but the NBA is an entertainment product at its core, and it’s hard to imagine living in a world where Williamson’s dunk isn’t entertaining.
Yes, those two extra points won’t help the Pelicans in the long run outside of their media team’s highlight reels, but they were the exclamation point on a big win for the 17-8 Pelicans, who currently sit in first place in the Western Conference.