- A freak injury sidelined Duke’s Zion Williamson when his shoe exploded mid-game, leading to a knee injury.
- While the ESPN commentator Jay Bilas said he had never seen anything like that before, exploding shoes are not as uncommon as some might believe.
- A montage of similar instances was created, showing other players with similar footwear malfunctions.
Wednesday night’s rivalry game between the Duke Blue Devils and the North Carolina Tar Heels got off to a rocky start after the Blue Devils superstar Zion Williamson’s shoe exploded just seconds after tip-off.
Williamson left the game with an injury, leaving the Blue Devils short-handed for the rest of the night in a game they lost 88-72.
Williamson’s injury seemed rather extraordinary at first glance – an exploding shoe is hardly a common occurrence – but as some Twitter users were quick say, it was far from the first time fans have seen Nike shoes unravel in the middle of a game.
David Astramskas from Ballislife.com posted a montage of similar instances on Twitter, showing NBA players such as Manu Ginobili, Andrew Bogut, and Aaron Gordon befalling fates similar to Williamson’s.
Even LeBron James has had a shoe give out on him in the middle of a game.
Montage of exploding Nike shoes (Manu, Bogut, Wroten, Gordon, Zion) pic.twitter.com/FuXH2qqSiv
— David Astramskas (@redapples) February 21, 2019
Williamson also isn’t the only person to have run into problems with the particular shoe he was wearing.
In Wednesday night’s game, Williamson was sporting the PG 2.5s, Paul George’s signature shoe.
On Nike’s website, one reviewer reported a similar issue with the shoe, writing that after a month of wear, the sole had “busted through the bottom.”
Nike has also had performance issues on the court beyond its footwear. At the start of the 2017-18 NBA season, the first since Nike took over as the league’s jersey provider, numerous players struggled with torn uniforms.
In real time, Williamson’s shoe malfunction felt like a one-in-a-million happening – Nike even implied as much by calling the matter an “isolated incident.”
Looking through the brand’s history, the problem is more common than you might think.
- More on Nike and Zion Williamson:
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