Watch the moment NBA’s best prospect Zion Williamson’s Nike sneaker tears apart

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Freshman sensation Zion Williamson was knocked out of the North Carolina-Duke rivalry game with a sprained knee after his Nike shoe exploded during the Blue Devils’ opening possession on Wednesday night.

While describing the sprain as light and the knee as stable, coach Mike Krzyzewski said he didn’t know how much time Williamson was going to miss.

Williamson, the alleged first pick in the NBA Draft in June, grabbed his right knee in pain after awkwardly slipping and falling when his left shoe collapsed as he planted hard while dribbling near the line. free throws. The blue rubber sole pulled away from the white shoe from heel to toe along the outer edge, Williamson’s foot crossing the wide gap.

Nike said in a statement it was “concerned” and wished Williamson a speedy recovery. He said he was “working to identify the problem.”

Tickets for the 9,134-seat intimate Cameron Indoor Stadium were priced at least $ 2,500 before Wednesday’s game. One fan paid up to $ 10,000 on a ticket renewal website.

Meanwhile, Duke’s students camped for 39 days in the open quad bike known as “Krzyzewskiville” for tickets to see Williamson play for 33 seconds against rival Tar Heels.

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Teen prodigy Zion Williamson suffered abnormal college basketball injury on Wednesday

The sensation's left coach, 18, exploded after his foot tore him apart

The sensation’s left coach, 18, exploded after his foot tore him apart

He sprained his right knee after slipping awkwardly and fell as his trainer collapsed

He sprained his right knee after slipping awkwardly and fell as his trainer collapsed

The good news for Williamson is that he may have a backup plan. According to Darren Rovell of the Action Network, the South Carolina native has an $ 8 million insurance policy, which probably costs around $ 50,000. The school is allowed to pay for the policy, according to NCAA rules.

It’s unclear how much, if any, Williamson will be able to claim.

Williamson, the ACC’s second-leading scorer with 22.4 points per game and arguably the most exciting player in college basketball, left with a slight limp but on his own before returning to the locker room with no shoes on. .

The North Carolina No.8 took advantage of Williamson’s absence to beat the Blue Devils 88-72.

“I’d rather not talk about what we’re going to do,” Krzyzewski said. “I prefer to talk about what just happened. Because we’re going to find out what we’re going to do. So I don’t have that answer.

Williamson had the backing of LeBron James and Barack Obama, the latter of whom was in Durham, where tickets cost up to $ 10,000 on Wednesday.

“Zion Williamson appears to be an exceptional young man as well as an exceptional basketball player,” Obama wrote on Twitter. I wish him a speedy recovery.

Without mentioning Nike by name, James – who has supported the brand for years – also tweeted to Williamson: “I hope the young man is doing well! Literally blown through her [sneaker emoji]. ‘

Without citing Nike by name, James - who supports the brand - tweeted to Williamson

Without citing Nike by name, James – who supports the brand – tweeted to Williamson

Williamson had the backing of LeBron James and Barack Obama, the latter of whom was in Durham, where tickets cost up to $ 10,000 on Wednesday.

Williamson had the backing of LeBron James and Barack Obama, the latter of whom was in Durham, where tickets cost up to $ 10,000 on Wednesday.

Parody accounts began popping up immediately after Williamson's injury

Parody accounts began popping up immediately after Williamson’s injury

Some students camped for 39 days, leaving only to go to class, to get tickets to see Duke host rival North Carolina.  Duke students traditionally camp in an area near the Cameron Indoor Stadium known as

Some students camped for 39 days, leaving only to go to class, to get tickets to see Duke host rival North Carolina. Duke students traditionally camp in an area near the Cameron Indoor Stadium known as “Krzyzewskiville” according to the team’s head coach.

DUKE-UNC TICKET PRICES GO BEYOND ‘INTENSE DEMAND’ FOR WILLIAMSON

One of four elite first-year rookies for Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski this season, Zion Williamson ranks second and first on the team with 22.4 points and 9.2 rebounds per game, respectively.

One of four elite first-year rookies for Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski this season, Zion Williamson ranks second and first on the team with 22.4 points and 9.2 rebounds per game, respectively.

Fans attending Wednesday’s game at Duke’s intimate Cameron Indoor Stadium, seating 9,314, spent at least $ 2,500 per seat, ESPN said – and it got off easily. A ticket sold by Vivid Seats cost $ 10,652.

And while it’s always a hot ticket when the Blue Devils (23-3) and Tar Heels (21-5) meet, one salesman told ESPN it was specifically the 6-foot-8, 285-inch Williamson. books that had skyrocketed prices.

“As far as Duke goes this year, I haven’t seen anything like it,” said Kyle Zorn, marketing strategist for secondary ticket seller TickPick, according to ESPN. “I would say LeBron James at the Lakers is the best comparison for that, as is a player with an impact.”

The cheapest tickets on StubHub late Tuesday afternoon were listed at $ 3,276 for a higher-level base seat. Fans who didn’t want to pay that much could have opted to purchase a ticket to the March 9 rematch at Dean Smith Center in Chapel Hill for a comparative flight at $ 432 each.

“Between Zion Williamson, a No. 1 ranking and this is one of the biggest rivalries in sports, there is intense demand,” Zorn said.

Signs are visible in Krzyzewskiville, the area where Duke students camp for games

Signs are visible in Krzyzewskiville, the area where Duke students camp for games

Krzyzewski doesn’t have much time to find a replacement for the Atlantic Coast Conference’s second-best scorer and most dynamic playmaker.

The Blue Devils (23-3, 11-2) play Saturday night in Syracuse – who already knows how to beat a Duke team after losing a key freshman to injury. Orange beat No.1 Duke last month in overtime after point guard Tre Jones suffered a shoulder injury.

Williamson is averaging 22.4 points, but his impact goes way beyond the scoring. He also grabs 9.2 rebounds and blocked almost two shots per game.

In his absence, North Carolina simply dominated the paint, edging out the Blue Devils 62-28 there while also building a 46-41 rebound advantage. The Tar Heels shot 51 percent – 57 percent in the second half – despite a 2-for-20 3-point shot.

RJ Barrett tied the best of the season with 33 points, and teammate Cameron Reddish had a high of 27, but the rest of the team combined for just 12 points.

“I hope he is fine,” Barrett said of Williamson. “We don’t really know where it is right now. “

Apparently neither Williamson. And now, a month after the freshman star dismissed questions about caution in risking injury while playing – Hall of Fame member Scottie Pippen had suggested he better shut it down for the year – this debate is sure to be revived.

Utah Jazz goalie Donovan Mitchell, who played at the University of Louisville, said on Twitter that “something has to change” as a result of the injury.

“Again, let’s remember all the money that was put into this game… and these players are not getting any… and now Zion is injured,” he tweeted.

Williamson grabbed his right knee in pain after slipping awkwardly and fell when his left shoe collapsed as he planted hard while dribbling near the free throw line. The blue rubber sole pulled away from the white shoe from heel to toe along the outer edge, Williamson’s foot crossing the wide gap.

He left with a slight limp, but on his own, before heading to the locker room with no shoes on.

Nike said in a statement it was “concerned” and wished Williamson a speedy recovery. He said he was “working to identify the problem.”

Obama – who watched the game from a base seat near the Duke bench – said on Twitter that Williamson “looked like an exceptional young man as well as an exceptional basketball player.” I wish him a speedy recovery.

The Blue Devils too.



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