The Minnesota Timberwolves shipped a boatload of picks and assets to the Utah Jazz in exchange for Rudy Gobert for one reason: rim protection. A three-time Defensive Player of the Year award winner, Gobert is a one-man defensive system onto himself (despite struggling a bit this season). Nevertheless, Gobert didn’t emerge as the defensive force he is without having the courage to challenge some of the most ferocious finishers in the league. And Zion Williamson put Gobert’s meal ticket to the test on Wednesday night.

With just a minute having elapsed in the third quarter of the contest between New Orleans Pelicans and the Timberwolves, Jaden McDaniels, a stout defender in his own right, picked up Zion Williamson near the half-court line. Williamson blew by McDaniels with a quick first step, but Rudy Gobert quickly met him near the free-throw line. But Williamson did not care.

After a hesitation move, Williamson burst to his right and detonated on Gobert with a ferocious poster dunk, with his weak hand no less, rendering the three-time DPOY’s defense moot.

With Gobert’s standing in the NBA community being as contentious as it’s ever been (in addition to the Pelicans forward being beloved), the NBA world roared with thunderous applause after such a ridiculous feat of athleticism.

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That play might have been embarrassing for Rudy Gobert, but at the very least, the thought of him going up to challenge Zion Williamson of all people is admirable. The 7’1 French center knows that it’s his job to protect the rim at all costs. Too bad it just didn’t work out for him this time.

It’s not as if this is the first time Gobert has been on the receiving end of a nasty poster jam. Many have come before Williamson, and many will come after. However, it’s impossible to deny that what Williamson did to Gobert was nasty.