Breaker of rims: Zion damages hoop with dunk

CHICAGO — United Center rims proved to be no match for rookie Zion Williamson.

After catching a lob pass from USA teammate Trae Young during Friday night’s Rising Stars Challenge, Williamson slammed down a two-handed jam that caused the rim to bend.

At halftime of the NBA All-Star Weekend event, United Center employees had to bring out a ladder and readjust the basket to its proper alignment. That’s the force of a 284-pound player who posted a 45-inch vertical leap in college.

It wasn’t the only gawk-worthy Williamson dunk that brought the crowd to its feet Friday. The New Orleans Pelicans‘ forward wowed fans and left the backboard shaking with a dunk after a between-the-legs pass from USA teammate Ja Morant.

Williamson played 20 minutes and finished with 14 points on 7-of-11 shooting to help the USA team top the World team 151-127.

Dunks were a theme throughout the night.

The teams finished with 41 combined slams (21 by USA, 20 by World). Rui Hachimura and Brandon Clarke each led the way with six dunks, while Williamson was next with five.