Tickets for last night’s college basketball clash between arch rivals North Carolina and Duke were selling for as high as $2900, with a large reason for the demand was to see superstar freshman Zion Williamson. Due to an injury, Williamson only played the first 33 seconds and left many fans disappointed, including President Obama.
Still can’t believe this happened. Hope Zion is ok. pic.twitter.com/J4OYIe2vEz
— Joe Trahan (@JoeTrahan) February 21, 2019
Shortly after the opening tip, Williamson made a hard stop and blew through his sneaker, the Nike PG 2.5, of the Paul George signature line, which caused a knee injury. As Williamson went down he immediately grabbed at his knee and the home crowd showed concert. President Obama was spotted pointing at Williamson and saying “his shoe broke.”
“His shoe broke.” – Obama
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) February 21, 2019
Duke’s staff brought Williamson another pair of shoes, however, he would soon go to the locker room and not return.
Zion Williamson seems like an outstanding young man as well as an outstanding basketball player. Wishing him a speedy recovery.
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) February 21, 2019
Many across the basketball world shared well wishes to the rising star. Some figures such as Donovan Mitchell of the Utah Jazz and ESPN’s Jay Williams called for adjustments for players of the sport.
Again let’s remember all the money that went into this game…. and these players get none of it…. and now Zion gets hurt… something has to change @NCAA
— Donovan Mitchell (@spidadmitchell) February 21, 2019
— Jay Williams (@RealJayWilliams) February 21, 2019
Nike issued a statement on the shoe break and injury:
“We are obviously concerned and want to wish Zion a speedy recovery. The quality and performance of our products are of utmost importance. While this is an isolated occurrence, we are working to identify the issue.”
A recent returnee to the basketball sneaker market and Nike competitor Puma took a shot at Nike before retracting their tweet.
Puma has deleted their tweet. pic.twitter.com/7pPitJ20zP
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) February 21, 2019