Nike Hunts for Answers After Duke Basketball Star’s Shoe Splits

Oscar PerryFeb 22, 2019

When he planted his feet while dribbling near the foul line, the sneaker on his left foot ripped open, and then his right knee buckled. The Cameron Crazies were out in full force, but the opportunity to watch Zion Williamson has the crowd looking a bit more star-studded than your average college basketball game.

Regardless of whom the former POTUS was rooting for, everyone watching the hotly anticipated game was devastated when Zion Williamson tore through his Nike PG 2.5 sneakers within the first minute of play, spraining his knee.

No. 8 North Carolina took advantage of Williamson's absence to beat the Blue Devils 88-72.

While most National Basketball Association players will switch into a new shoe every three to five games - and many signature players wear a new pair every game - Williamson appeared to be wearing the same pair throughout the year.

Williamson dropped to the floor grimacing in pain and holding his right knee.

Former President Barack Obama was in the audience and was seen mouthing, "His shoe broke".

"It was the first time we've not played with him all season", Reddish said.

Zion Williamson's shoe exploded during Duke's showdown with arch rivals the University of North Carolina on Thursday.

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When asked if he ever had a shoe fail like Williamson's Nike shoes: "Not in the pros", said Cousins, who wears Pumas, with a smile.

While Nike shares were not yet open for formal trading on the NY stock market, its relatively thinly-traded shares on the Frankfurt market fell around 1 percent, while shares in rivals Adidas and Puma edged up.

The Beaverton, Oregon-based company says it's concerned and says quality and performance of its products are of "utmost importance".

"While this is an isolated occurrence, we are working to identify the issue", Nike said.

"Hope young fella is ok!". The reason he had lost grip with that left foot was that the shoe literally came apart at the seams.

Duke's Zion Williamson sweeps ACC Player and Freshman of the Week honors ... five ACC teams have now hit the 20-win milestone for the 2018-19 season with UNC, Florida State and Virginia Tech each winning on Saturday to join Duke and UVA ... "Wishing him a speedy recovery". "We've made three generations, going on four now of my shoe, of being successful". And in mere seconds, Nike was facing a marketing nightmare.

"This is embarrassing for Nike, but will have no material impact on the business", said Matt Powell, analyst at NPD Group.

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