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Zion Williamson's Nike shoe explosion & knee injury have massive implications

How strong is this guy, anyway? Zion Williamson is Power Personified, and it showed only 36 seconds into a game last night. It was Duke versus North Carolina - Zion was on the move with the ball, when his left shoe disintegrated. His foot literally came through the bottom of the shoe, causing that traction-less foot to slide. He was forced to leave the game with what is currently listed as a right knee sprain.


Make no mistake! This young man is an endorsement goldmine. He defies comparison. He is the prize in the upcoming draft, and there is no close second. Nike will take a serious hit on this one, but looking past the obvious shoe defects, Williamson's combined power and weight may have played a role in the mishap. We await further info on his injury - which hopefully is what it appears to be - a minor knee sprain.





Former President, Barack Obama was in attendance and witnessed the mishap. Even the Celtics Terry Rozier got involved (per Yahoo Sports' Pete Thamel):

The impact of Williamson’s injury will be felt through every corner of basketball – from college to the NBA front offices pining for his services. But it also lit up the phone lines in the shoe industry, as the sad shot of the shredded Paul George model Nikes under his seat on the Duke bench could end up haunting the company. The rip went from the middle of the front of the sneaker’s sole all the way to heel, appearing if it’d been sliced by a sickle rather than ruptured by a foot.

It certainly got the attention of the shoe world on social media. Puma’s official account quickly deleted a classless tweet that said: “Wouldn’t have happened in Pumas.” Celtics point guard Terry Rozier tweeted – “Come to Puma” – before quickly adding that he didn’t know Williamson was injured. At the very least, those tweets underscored what’s at stake for Williamson’s shoe deal.

This story will not die quickly. Beyond the talent, physique, athleticism and physical power, Zion is one extremely-likable young man. He is tailor-made as a spokesperson for any product. But right now the hope of everybody is that he and his career are going to be okay. One thing is for sure - Nike has some work to do.

All they want to hear about is Zion,” said one shoe company source of his company’s executives. “There’s no silver. Zion is the gold.

Follow Tom at @TomLaneHC, @CelticsSentinel and Facebook

Photo via Gerry Broome/AP
Video via ecaster

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