New Orleans Pelicans star Zion Williamson did not get to play against the Phoenix Suns in last year’s NBA Playoffs.
He did play against Phoenix Friday night during the regular season, though, and his last-second move angered his opponents.
With New Orleans up 126-117, Williamson received the ball as the clock wound down to zero. Instead of dribbling out the clock, Williamson punctuated the win with a 360 windmill dunk.
The dunk angered some on the Phoenix side, with both benches coming onto the court.
The two teams jawed with each other as New Orleans head coach Willie Green tried to get in between his players and Suns guard Cameron Payne before both teams walked off the court.
“The game was pretty much over, and they just kept playing,” Payne said, according to ESPN. “I felt like there was just no sportsmanship, and we don’t really like that. We do the right thing. I felt like they should’ve done the right thing, and they didn’t. We didn’t take it well, and we don’t like to lose either. The game was over, no shot clock. They can hold the ball.”
Williamson, who scored 35 points on 13-17 shooting from the floor, admitted that he got carried away.
“That was a little out of character to me, but you gotta understand. You can understand it or not,” Williamson said after the game. “They sent my teammates home last year. I missed all last year. I got carried away a little bit. I’ll admit that.
“But I was in that locker room when my brothers were down, because the Suns sent us home last year. That’s a tough moment to be a part of. So, in that moment I got carried away. I admit that. That was out of character for me. So, if they was to do the same thing, I wouldn’t have a problem with it.
Williamson was drafted first overall in the 2019 NBA Draft but played in just 85 games in his first three seasons in the NBA as he dealt with various injuries.
He missed the entire 2021-2022 NBA season with a broken foot.