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Zion Williamson’s Infamous Blown-Out Nike Sneaker From Duke Is Going Up for Auction


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A token of perhaps Nike’s least triumphant moment in the spotlight is going up for auction.

The sneaker infamously blown out by Zion Williamson in a 2019 Duke-North Carolina game has been consigned by Goldin and will be made available for bidding Friday, May 10. Goldin announced the imminent auction on social media Wednesday with a video of the broken sneaker in-hand today.

Williamson completely stepped through the left shoe of a pair of Nike PG 2.5s just two minutes into a game featuring the biggest rivalry in college basketball. The then-college phenom had to be pulled from the game because of a knee injury sustained during the play, with the spotlight being so great that former President Barack Obama could be seen mouthing the words, “His shoe broke,” from his courtside seat.

Nike shares dropped 1.7 percent the following day as investors offloaded their stock, accounting for a loss of $1.1 billion in value. Williamson missed several weeks before returning in customized Nike Kyrie 4 sneakers. Nike had sent some of its team to Duke to assess what went wrong with his previous sneakers and provide alternatives to support Williamson and his explosive game.

“We’re thrilled to see Zion returning to the court. After working closely with the Duke basketball team to examine the issue, we are confident this was an isolated incident,” Nike in a statement at the time. “We continue to work with Duke, and all of our partner programs, to ensure we are providing the best product for their athletes.”

Despite the ignominy of the saga, Williamson would go on to sign with Jordan Brand when he entered the NBA. He’s now now on the third iteration of his signature sneaker line.

Months after the malfunction, Goldin founder Ken Goldin said he’d estimate the sneakers to be worth at least $250,000. Five years later, his company now has the chance to put that estimation to the test.

Further details about the auction have yet to be announced, but this post will be updated as more information becomes available.

About the Author:

Ian Servantes is a Senior Trending News Editor for Footwear News specializing in sneaker coverage. He’s previously reported on streetwear and sneakers at Input and Highsnobiety after beginning his career on the pop culture beat. He subscribes to the idea that “ball is life” and doesn’t fuss over his kicks getting dirty.



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