INDIANAPOLIS — To Ja Morant, the answer was a slam dunk. His ferocious jam Saturday night was his best one yet.
“Yeah, easy,” he said, because of its difficulty, when asked if it topped his rapidly expanding collection of sensational slams. “It’s what everybody has been waiting for. I finally made it.”
Morant’s dunk came in the third quarter of the Memphis Grizzlies’ 130-112 victory over the Indiana Pacers. He drove left into the middle of the lane, put the ball in his right hand and pulled his arm far back to easily throw it down over leaping Pacers big man Jalen Smith.
Teammates jumped off the bench in excitement and reaction followed quickly on social media, with Morant admiring his work with his own tweet — and warning to fellow players — following the game.
“Jump with me if you want to go viral,” he wrote over a tweet from the NBA’s account showing multiple angles of the dunk.
The No. 2 pick in the 2019 draft quickly emerged as one of the NBA’s highest flyers and has gone on to become one of its best players. The 2020 Rookie of the Year was a first-time All-Star last season and was voted the winner of the Most Improved Player player.
He would seem a shoe-in to win another award, the trophy for the slam dunk contest, if he ever entered the event at the NBA’s All-Star weekend.
Cleveland’s Donovan Mitchell, the 2018 winner, called on Morant to show his skills in Salt Lake City with a response to Morant’s tweet.
“Bruh just do the … dunk contest,” he wrote.