The top story of the college basketball and sports business world over the last week has been Zion Williamson suffering a knee injury after his Nike shoe exploded during the Duke-North Carolina showdown. It was a nightmare scenario for Nike, with their shoe falling apart for the biggest star in college basketball on the biggest stage, and with the concern at the time that Williamson may have suffered a devastating knee injury. Nike caught a break, in that Williamson’s knee injury doesn’t appear serious. Williamson is the top player in the country, and has been viewed as a virtual lock to be the top pick in the upcoming NBA Draft, so a serious knee injury would’ve been a very, very big deal.
And on Tuesday night, a shoe from one of Nike’s biggest competitors fell apart during a nationally televised college basketball game between No. 19 Wisconsin and Indiana.
Indiana’s Justin Smith busted through his Adidas shoes that featured primarily a crimson colorway during the first half, and switched to all-white shoes. However, ESPN completely missed the shoe during the broadcast, and we have to rely on a photo from Robert Scheer of the Indianapolis Star.
Justin Smith's blown apart Adidas shoe, IU men's game vs. Badgers. pic.twitter.com/m7rumc67Sy
— Robert Scheer (@bobscheer) February 27, 2019
Nike has to be thinking “OH OF COURSE” after ESPN somehow missed this on the broadcast and never even mentioned it.