Zion Williamson is changing things up in his return from his high-profile shoe blowout last month.
Williamson will be lacing up the Nike Kyrie 4 to start the ACC Tournament against Syracuse. Duke shared a photo on Twitter Thursday that shows Williamson in his new shoes.
— Duke Basketball (@DukeMBB) March 14, 2019
Williamson previously wore the Nike PG 2.5 PE, which is the Paul George shoe. He was wearing that model when his shoe tore apart in the first minute of Duke’s game against North Carolina on Feb. 20. Williamson missed the remainder of the regular season and is returning to action in the conference tournament.
Skechers is looking to capitalize on Nike’s high-profile equipment malfunction.
Skechers launched an ad campaign taking aim at Nike over Zion Williamson’s shoe falling apart during Duke’s game against North Carolina two weeks ago.
The ads are appearing in newspapers like USA Today and The New York Times, as well as Instagram.
USA Today ad. Well played Skechers. pic.twitter.com/353tLvBgft
— Don Jones (@DonnyJ44) March 2, 2019
i usually wouldn’t implore you to buy the paper for an ad, but you’ll never see shade like [squints] skechers is throwing at nike on page 3 of tomorrow’s nyt sports section again pic.twitter.com/wu9tQGacrf
— Josh Crutchmer (@jcrutchmer) March 2, 2019
As soon as Williamson had the shoe blowout, competitors pounced, though Puma deleted their tweet. Skechers decided to go all-in with an ad campaign that seems well-timed.
One of the worst public relations nightmares in Nike’s history occurred during Wednesday night’s game between Duke and North Carolina, and the sports apparel juggernaut is working hard to remedy the situation.
Just over 30 seconds into the game, freshman superstar Zion Williamson was forced to exit with a knee injury after his shoe literally fell apart. Williamson is the best player in the country and is expected to be the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA Draft, so the equipment malfunction could not have happened in a worse situation.
Zion's shoe: destroyed pic.twitter.com/LqQ2te0Jay
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 21, 2019
After UNC’s 88-72 win over the Blue Devils, Nike issued a statement about the broken shoe. A spokesperson wished Williamson a speedy recovery and said the manufacturer is working to identify the cause of the “isolated incident.”
Got this statement from a #Nike spokesman:
“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.”
— Des Bieler (@DesBieler) February 21, 2019
Isolated or not, the situation is a horrible look for Nike. Williamson is fortunate to have only suffered a knee sprain, though it is unclear how much time he will miss. The freshman has already been urged by some former NBA players to sit out to protect himself from injury, but no one envisioned his footwear being the issue.
As you might expect, Nike was ruthlessly mocked by the competition over the debacle.
Nike’s worst nightmare occurred on Wednesday night.
In the first minute of the high-profile Duke-North Carolina game, Blue Devils star Zion Williamson exited with an injury after his shoe broke. Williamson was wearing the Nike PG 2.5 PE, and the shoe literally fell apart, resulting in a knee injury.
This is the biggest stage in college basketball and the biggest star in the sport, and to have the equipment fall apart and cause an injury could not have been a worse turn of events for the Swoosh. Instantly, people pounced.
Boston Celtics guard Terry Rozier said Williamson/Duke should join Puma, a new brand in the basketball shoe market.
Come on over to puma
— Terry Rozier (@T_Rozzay3) February 21, 2019
Puma joined in as well before later deleting their tweet.
Wouldn’t have happened in the pumas
— PUMA Basketball (@PUMAHoops) February 21, 2019
Others on social media instantly knew what the injury and shoe failure meant for Nike and its competitors.
Nike right now…. pic.twitter.com/05aWBRRiJ8
— Damien Woody (@damienwoody) February 21, 2019
Adidas, Under Armour and Reebok after Zion fell out of his Nikespic.twitter.com/255WWmjsze
— Breyon (@bre_88) February 21, 2019
Nike stock may take a hit on the market tomorrow after Zion blowout!! #UNCvsDuke
— Mark A. Perdue (@markperdue65) February 21, 2019
Terrible look for Nike.
— Joe Person (@josephperson) February 21, 2019
We’re not about to say Nike’s stock price is going to fall on Thursday, but this really couldn’t be worse for them.
Williamson was soon ruled out for the rest of the game due to his knee, raising questions about his future at Duke, and whether he might actually follow Scottie Pippen’s advice.
Brad Stevens jokingly had pretty high expectations for Nike’s new self-lacing, “smart” shoes.
During Wednesday’s game between the Boston Celtics and Toronto Raptors, Jayson Tatum wore Nike’s new Adapt BB shoes, which can be loosened or tightened by manual touch or by using the Nike Adapt app on a smartphone.
Jayson Tatum set to debut the new auto-lacing Nike Adapt BB here in Boston — what’s everyone think of the $350 smart shoe?? pic.twitter.com/WSgxkUoo9i
— Nick DePaula (@NickDePaula) January 16, 2019
Prior to the game, Celtics head coach Brad Stevens joked that he hopes the shoes make Tatum “superfast.”
Brad Stevens on Jayson Tatum: "He has a motorized shoe? I hope it makes him superfast."
— Sean Deveney (@SeanDeveney) January 17, 2019
Tatum was among the group of athletes to put the shoes through rigorous tests at Nike’s world headquarters. During Boston’s 117-108 victory, Tatum scored 16 points on 6-of-16 shooting to go along with 10 rebounds. It had to be the shoes.
- Filed Under:
Kanye West is pretty excited about his first Adidas Yeezy basketball shoe, but the sneaker would not be approved by the NBA as presently styled, according to a report.
West shared a sample pair of his Adidas Yeezy basketball shoes on Instagram. The photo was taken mostly in the dark, showcasing a reflective part of the shoe:
View this post on Instagram
A post shared by ye (@kanyewest) on
Here’s another look at it:
The reflective piece is apparently the reason the shoe would not be approved for wear by players during NBA games.
ESPN’s Nick DePaula reported on Monday that the shoe’s reflective heel panel is problematic because the league would deem it “potentially distracting for both in-arena spectators and television viewers.”
DePaula notes that Carmelo Anthony had a similar issue in the past and had to make a change to his shoe in order to wear it in games.
The league office has not yet received the Yeezy basketball shoe to review for approval. DePaula says they likely would approve if the reflective area were changed.
We’re guessing this development won’t help Kanye’s claim of surpassing Michael Jordan.
- Filed Under:
Nike has unveiled a new version of the Kevin Durant 10 shoes that seems to be a response to his haters.
On Friday, the “Red Velvet” version of the KDX shoe will go on sale on Nike’s website.
Here is Nike’s description of the shoe:
“With a style of play as smooth as velvet, KD is known for having the most fluid game in the game today. Effortlessly making defenders look helpless, always ready to cook his next victim. He dominates the game with unrivaled versatility, forever motivated by the sweet taste of victory. At the end of the day, winning is all that matters and anything else is just icing on the cake. The KDX ‘Red Velvet’ celebrates the smoothest player in the game and his undying quest for the sweet taste of victory.”
Sure, that’s one way to tie together the cupcake theme with Durant, but those who follow the NBA know there’s something else to the cupcake theme.
When Durant announced he was leaving the Thunder for the Warriors, Russell Westbrook took a shot at him with a cupcake photo. The Warriors later defended Durant by wearing cupcakes on gear after beating the Thunder.
Then after winning his first championship in June, Durant wore a cupcake hat. It’s obvious that this is his continued response to those who criticized him.