New Orleans Pelicans stud Zion Williamson has sparked a push-and-shove on the finish of his aspect’s 128-117 win over the Phoenix Suns after a spectacular 360 windmill dunk with a second left within the match.
Williamson got here into the NBA with an enormous Instagram following from highschool the place he confirmed on his unimaginable expertise.
However doing it with the sport already younger sparked a melee on the finish of the sport after he broke one of many NBA’s unwritten guidelines.
Even informal NBA followers know gamers do not do showy dunks or shoot threes late if the sport is already determined — until they need to make a degree.
And Zion wished to make a degree.
His teammate Larry Nance already put the Suns noses out of joint with a lay as much as put the Pelicans up by 9 with 18 seconds remaining.
The match was over however Williamson unleashed the monster dunk and divided the NBA.
“No, no, no, no,” former NBA participant Antonio Daniels mentioned on Bally Sports activities commentary.
Suns star Chris Paul made his feeling identified to the Pelicans bench as each groups got here collectively for some pushing and shoving.
Daniels added: “This got here from the final two possessions although. With Larry Nance taking pictures a layup then the sport was over, then Zion doing a 360 (dunk) when the sport was over — that is how rivalries begin!”
Extremely, the groups play once more on Monday however newsflash, they’re already in a rivalry.
The Pelicans sit atop the Western Convention at 17-8, forward of the Grizzlies (17-9) and Suns (16-10).
However New Orleans hasn’t forgotten who knocked them out final season.
Williamson missed the playoffs final season with a damaged foot.
“That was somewhat out of character for me,” Williamson mentioned. “However you’ve obtained to grasp, I imply, you’ll be able to perceive it or not. They despatched my teammates house final 12 months.
“I missed all final 12 months. I obtained carried away somewhat bit. I admit that. However you already know, I used to be in that locker room when my brothers had been down as a result of the Suns despatched us house final 12 months. That’s a troublesome second to be part of. So in that second, I obtained carried away. I admit that. … In the event that they had been to do the identical factor, I wouldn’t haven’t any drawback with it.”
Whereas Williamson was blissful to say why he pulled off the dunk, Paul performed it off.
“It’s pleasure on the finish of the sport. It occurs on a regular basis and it’s what it’s,” he mentioned. “Ain’t no one preventing. Ain’t no one doing nothing.”
Nevertheless, Suns guard Cameron Payne wasn’t backing down.
“The sport was just about over they usually simply stored taking part in,” Payne mentioned. “I felt like there was simply no sportsmanship and we don’t actually like that. We do the best factor.
“I felt like they need to’ve finished the best factor they usually didn’t. We didn’t take it nicely and we don’t wish to lose both. The sport was over, no shot clock. They’ll maintain the ball.”
Pelicans guard CJ McCollum mentioned: “They obtained to get again on defence in the event that they don’t need us to dunk the ball. Get again on defence.”