ATLANTA — There was no need for delayed gratification. Not even two minutes into the first quarter of the Pelicans’ preseason debut against the Hawks, Zion Williamson soared to the basket to deliver his first dunk against an NBA team.
Williamson didn’t even need two hands.
Even the Hawks’ boisterous “Sixth Man Section” couldn’t stifle gasps as Williamson, the most highly anticipated rookie in recent memory, rammed the ball through the hoop in the Pelicans’ 133-109 win. Williamson rose to dunk celebrity during his lone season at Duke University, but on Monday night he proved to be more than a walking dunk-machine.
“I don’t think dunking would have just gotten me here,” Williamson said after the game. “Had to be like somewhat of a good basketball player to get here.”
His first points came on a drive to the basket, where he was fouled. He sank a free throw en route to scoring the Pelicans’ first five points of the game. He finished with 16 points, seven rebounds and three assists in 28 minutes of playing time.
Williamson’s first quarter slam wasn’t his only dunk of the night. In fact, it wasn’t his only dunk of the quarter. He delivered two more.