Since Zion Williamson’s return to the court at the start of the 2019 ACC Tournament, much of the talk has been about the scary injury he suffered previously. In the Duke Blue Devils’ first regular-season matchup against the North Carolina Tar Heels, Williamson was attempting to stop and change directions when it happened.
The game was less than one minute old and Zion went down as it appeared he slipped on the floor. That obviously wasn’t the case, and we later found out that the freshman phenom had actually broken through his Nike shoe completely. The side of the shoe was torn and ripped apart, and the impact of this was originally believed to be a reason for major concern.
This proved to be far more than just a ripped shoe or fluke accident, as Williamson was on the floor holding his knee. The scene was captured in a photo, as Ben Golliver of the Washington Post revealed.
Zion Williamson’s Shoe After Injury
The shoes Williamson was wearing were later revealed as the Paul George 2.5 (Nike PG 2.5) and you can see a closer look at the sole which was almost completely removed from the top. Here’s an up-close view, courtesy of Complex Sports.
Following the knee injury and when the game had wrapped up, Tim Reynolds and the Associated Press reported that Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski revealed Zion’s knee was stable. Then the following day, the team updated the forward’s status on Twitter, pointing out that he had suffered a Grade 1 right knee sprain.
Aftermath of Zion Williamson’s Torn Shoe & Injury
The Action Network’s Darren Rovell sounded off almost immediately after the shoe had blown out and spoke about the shoe malfunction and impact on Nike.
“Worst Nike shoe malfunction since Eliud Kipchoge missed a record in the Berlin Marathon in 2015 after the insoles fell out of his shoes. Nike said they were prototypes. Doesn’t compare to the stage that the Zion malfunction was just on…It’s not a material loss to Nike’s business, but I wouldn’t be completely surprised if Nike’s stock, on no other news, didn’t do a little dip tomorrow morning from this prominent event,” Rovell tweeted.
Before the Duke vs. UNC matchup that night, Nike’s stock was priced at $84.84 and dropped more than a dollar in the early hours of the market down to $83.60, per Yahoo Finance. The fall went beyond that, and while they’ve bounced back up some since that point, it’s obviously impacted the overall outlook.