NBA Reacts To Ja Morant's Insane Dunk Against The Pacers

Morant's insane skills had veterans and current players alike foaming at the mouth after the potential Dunk of the Year.

BYGabriel Bras Nevares

The Memphis Grizzlies' All-Star guard made a massive splash in the NBA during last night's (January 14) game, which pit them against the Indiana Pacers. Ja Morant wowed the NBA with his poster dunk on Jalen Smith. Moreover, some are calling it the dunk of the year (it's barely two weeks into January, but let Twitter live). Still, the highest praise may come from some of the legends and basketball figures that praised the feat.

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - JANUARY 14: Ja Morant #12 of the Memphis Grizzlies dunks the ball over Jalen Smith #25 of the Indiana Pacers in the third quarter at Gainbridge Fieldhouse on January 14, 2023 in Indianapolis, Indiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

Even considering his 6'3" height, the 6'10" Smith stood no chance against Morant's rush to the rim. Although he missed previous attempts at this kind of dunk, this is indisputably one of the best in his career. Given the bombastic moment, the dunk went viral online, with Hall of Fame Kevin Garnett giving his props.

"When we look back on Ja’s in game dunk highlights when it’s all said and done it’s gonna be up there with some of the greatest ever," the former Celtic tweeted.

Meanwhile, other NBA stars sought to share their mindblown reactions. Kyle Kuzma, forward for the Washington Wizards, agreed with Garnett's statement. Also, Brooklyn Nets superstar Kevin Durant shared a collection of memes summarizing his thought. After all, a picture's worth a thousand words, and a meme can be worth millions.

Also, former pro and current ESPN analyst Kendrick Perkins reaffirmed his once-criticized support for the Grizzlies last season. He even advocated for a spot for Morant on the NBA All-Star Game roster this year. In fact, he's third in fan votes in the guard category, right behind Luka Doncic and Steph Curry.

"The fans want to see HIGHLIGHTS… and that’s exactly what Ja Morant is going to give you," he tweeted. "The MOST ELECTRIFYING PLAYER in the NBA!!!"

Still, there's one other request people (and current players) have for Morant: please, please compete in the NBA Dunk Contest. Moreover, Donovan Mitchell urged him to do so on Twitter, and the All-Star weekend competition has one spot left. While many have cried out their excitement at the prospect, the likelihood seems low.

Regardless, what did you think of Ja Morant's incredible dunk last night against Jalen Smith of the Indiana Pacers? Whatever the case, let us know in the comments down below. Also, as always, come back to HNHH for the latest in basketball news and highlights.

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About The Author
Gabriel Bras Nevares is a music and pop culture news writer for HotNewHipHop. He started in 2022 as a weekend writer and, since joining the team full-time, has developed a strong knowledge in hip-hop news and releases. Whether it’s regular coverage or occasional interviews and album reviews, he continues to search for the most relevant news for his audience and find the best new releases in the genre. What excites him the most is finding pop culture stories of interest, as well as a deeper passion for the art form of hip-hop and its contemporary output. Specifically, Gabriel enjoys the fringes of rap music: the experimental, boundary-pushing, and raw alternatives to the mainstream sound. As a proud native of San Juan, Puerto Rico, he also stays up-to-date with the archipelago’s local scene and its biggest musical exponents in reggaetón, salsa, indie, and beyond. Before working at HotNewHipHop, Gabriel produced multiple short documentaries, artist interviews, venue spotlights, and audio podcasts on a variety of genres and musical figures. Hardcore punk and Go-go music defined much of his coverage during his time at the George Washington University in D.C. His favorite hip-hop artists working today are Tyler, The Creator, Boldy James, JPEGMAFIA, and Earl Sweatshirt.