The return of Zion Williamson for Duke had the entire basketball world very excited with the start of March Madness just around the corner. Zion was completely dominant in the Duke Blue Devils victory which can only strengthen his chances of being selected as the number one pick of the 2019 NBA Draft.
This was Williamson’s first game back since he managed to strain his knee in a match against North Carolina where his Nike shoe blew up. The new Nike shoes that he was wearing was a main focus of the broadcast, ESPN reported that Nike worked on building a very special custom-made shoe that Williamson would wear in his return match.
Switching it up from the Paul George 2.5 signature shoe he used to wear, Williamson is now wearing a Kyrie 4 that was made by Nike.
— B/R Kicks (@brkicks) March 14, 2019
ESPN’s Allison Williams reported on the broadcast that Williamson’s “special needs” required Nike to put in a lot of extra work into the shoe to satisfy his needs.
Zion is playing tonight’s game in a pair of custom Kyrie 4s.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 15, 2019
Duke Coach, Mike Krzyzewski spoke with reporters on Thursday Night and revealed just what Nike had to go through to find a shoe perfect for Zion. This included flying some of their top officials to Durham to Duke’s campus and to be manufactured in China just a week later. Knowing that they plan on signing the Duke star to a massive deal when he makes the NBA, Nike were clearly willing to do anything they could to satisfy him.
Coach K: Nike flew in their top people to Durham the day after the shoe blew out. Those people then flew to China to oversee the manufacturing of a stronger, more stable shoe. They came back to Duke a week later with the shoe.
— Jonathan Jones (@jjones9) March 15, 2019
It looks as if it has paid off so far with Zion loving the new pair as he performed spectacularly as if he had never left.
Zion: “The shoes were incredible this game”
— Chip Patterson (@Chip_Patterson) March 15, 2019
The NCAA tournament begins next week, it’s not clear yet on what shoe he will wear but Nike certainly hopes that there will be no repeat of what happened in North Carolina.