If Zion Williamson ever tires of flying above the rim he just might bring it down to his level.
The New Orleans Pelicans star bent a rim and backboard on a dunk Friday night during the second quarter of the NBA Rising Stars Challenge. After receiving an entry pass from Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young, Williamson turned, elevated and threw down with two hands at the rim’s expense.
Zion bent the rim ? pic.twitter.com/wo68tLyrlJ
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) February 15, 2020
HE BENT THE BACKBOARD pic.twitter.com/UjToFbbwFP
— #RingerNBA (@ringernba) February 15, 2020
In bending the rim and backboard, Williamson provided the first “wow” moment of NBA All-Star Weekend, which is taking place in Chicago. After the game, the 6-6, 285-pound rookie tried to deflect blame for the damage.
“We went into the halftime, and my teammates started telling me about it,” Williamson said, per ESPN. “I don’t know which dunk it was on, but I don’t think it was me.”
Williamson scored 14 points for Team USA in its 151-131 win over Team World.
He won’t participate in Saturday’s Slam-Dunk Contest or Sunday’s NBA All-Star game, so equipment enthusiasts can breathe a sigh of relief … at least for now.