North Carolina v Duke

Getty ImagesStreeter Lecka

After a team loses, there’s lots of chatter about what went wrong: too many turnovers, not enough defense, or bad shots. Rarely, does a shoe get blamed for ruining a highly-anticipated basketball game–until now. Duke basketball player Zion Williamson was injured after his shoe exploded during the team’s matchup against North Carolina, and fans are blaming Nike, USA Today reported.

Onlookers watched as Williamson fell to the floor less than a minute into the game. Footage shows the athlete grabbing his knees and his blown apart Nike shoe, which slipped off his foot. The shoe worn by Williamson is the Nike PG 2.5 PE, USA Today reported.

Zion Williamson Shoe Explodes

Lance King

The news spread on Twitter and in media outlets, since shoes just don’t regularly burst open. Many are using it as an opportunity to take digs at the athletic company.

Even former President Barack Obama, who attended the game, chimed in on the matter.

Nike responded that the company is investigating the issue.

“We are obviously concerned and want to wish Zion a speedy recovery,” Nike said in a statement to Darren Rovell of Action Network. “The quality and performance of our products are of utmost importance. While this is an isolated occurrence, we are working to identify the issue.”

Duke lost the game to North Carolina scoring 72 to their 88 points. Many blame Williamson’s absence for the outcome.

“You go in with your game plan, get into the game, and then 36 seconds in, one of your key guys goes out,” Duke player R.J. Barrett told USA Today. “It was tough for us to bounce back from that, and North Carolina really punched us the whole way through.”

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski told the paper that Williamson is recovering from a mild knee sprain, however, they don’t know how long the athlete will be sidelined.

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