Days after Duke’s 18-year-old freshman phenom Zion Williamson was the talk of the town at the NBA All-Star Game, he became a trending topic on social media during his first rivalry game against the University of North Carolina. The thing is, he barely played — 36 seconds, to be exact. On Duke’s first offensive possession of the night, the 6-foot-7-inch, 285-pound Williamson drove to the middle of the floor and attempted to plant his feet, but he slipped and fell to the floor as his left foot completely ripped through one of his Nike PG 2.5s. “His shoe broke,” former President Barack Obama was caught saying on camera from his courtside seat at Duke’s Cameron Indoor Stadium. Williamson left the game with a knee injury and never returned. Meanwhile, the focus shifted to the faulty shoes of the 2019 NBA draft’s projected No. 1 pick. “For a shoe to fall apart — completely fall apart — came in one of the most highly anticipated games in a long time,” legendary sports executive Sonny Vaccaro told USA Today. “This magnifies it.” Folks on Twitter blasted Nike, the company behind Williamson’s PG 2.5s. Even a competing brand threw some shade. “Wouldn’t have happened in pumas,” @PumaHoops posted before deleting the tweet. Unfortunately, Williamson didn’t get the moment he deserved on one of the biggest stages of the season — and the shoes on his feet were part of the reason. “Hope young fella is ok! Literally blew thru his .” LeBron James, who’s endorsed Nike since 2003, tweeted. When Williamson returns, maybe he’ll switch to wearing Nike’s LeBrons, Kyries or Kobes. And when he reaches the NBA, maybe he’ll think long and hard about which brand he’ll rep.
👟 😳 Zion ripped through … his shoe?!?