Brandon Ingram may have missed the New Orleans Pelicans’ most recent game against the Phoenix Suns, but he was with them in spirit.
The Pelicans ended up beating Phoenix 128-117, earning first place in the Western Conference in the process.
Zion Williamson, who finished with a game-high 35 points, punctuated the effort with this highlight dunk:
ZION MY GOODNESS🔥🔥🔥
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) December 10, 2022
Suns players were displeased about that last move after the fact:
The Suns weren’t happy with Zion’s windmill dunk at the end of the game pic.twitter.com/N2NyLb2q9b
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) December 10, 2022
Which led to Ingram taking to social media to address the opposition.
Ingram’s Stories after the fact largely speak for themselves:
For what it’s worth, Williamson tried to explain his dunk in reasonable terms after the game:
“That was a little out of character for me. But you gotta understand, they sent my teammates home last year… But I was in that locker room, my brothers was down because the Suns sent us home last year.”
– Zion Williamson on his late-game dunk pic.twitter.com/gJdEzSMSPB
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) December 10, 2022
“That was a little out of character for me,” he said.
“But you gotta understand, they sent my teammates home last year… But I was in that locker room, my brothers was down because the Suns sent us home last year.”
The truly weird part about Phoenix’s reaction to all this is that they did the same thing to New Orleans not long ago:
AD. I know you didn’t like that he did it…but once they did this…unwritten rules went out the window. pic.twitter.com/CDkGobq5zg
— James Smith Jr (@iamjamesnumber1) December 10, 2022
A lot of folks might be surprised to see such trash-talk coming from a guy who seemed so mild-mannered on the Los Angeles Lakers, but Ingram isn’t that person anyone. He looks very different these days, and as evidenced by information that came out about his ‘first love,’ folks don’t know as much about him as they think they do.
The photos speak for themselves. https://t.co/g6TUYqx8Tt
— Game 7 (@game7__) December 9, 2022
In any case, the Pelicans are legit this year thanks in large part to Williamson and Ingram. No amount of Suns saltiness will change the fact that New Orleans tops the West right now and Phoenix does not.
How much longer will that be the case for?
Time will tell.