UPDATE Feb. 27, 2019 at 6:45 p.m. ET: Adidas responded to a request for comment from FN. In an email the brand stated, “We have reached out to Indiana University to learn about the specific circumstances and will work with the school and Justin to make sure everything we provide him and his teammates meets our highest standards.”
February has been a tough month for college players and basketball sneakers. First, Duke Blue Devils star Zion Williamson busted through his Nike PG 2.5, and yesterday, an Indiana Hoosiers player split through a pair of his Adidas basketball sneakers.
During the Hoosiers’ 75-73 win over the Wisconsin Badgers last night at the Bloomington Assembly Hall in Indiana, the forefoot of forward Justin Smith’s Adidas Harden Vol. 3 basketball sneakers broke open. Unlike Williamson, Smith was not injured on the play. (The shoe malfunction also didn’t hurt his offensive production: Smith scored 12 points in the home win.)
Although the incident is getting talked about on social media, Smith’s shoe mishap did not receive anywhere near the attention that Williamson’s broken basketball sneakers did. Although Smith is important to Indiana, Williamson is a star in the sport and widely projected as the No. 1 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. And the Duke game was against a high-profile opponent, North Carolina, and was attended by several noteworthy people including former President Barack Obama.
While news outlets continue to cover the Williamson incident, the attention to Smith’s has paled in comparison and all started with a tweet from Indystar photographer Robert Scheer.
The Adidas Harden Vol. 3 is the signature shoe of NBA veteran James Harden and available now via Adidas.com for $140. Reviews of the shoe on the brand’s website are largely favorable, with no one reporting mishaps similar to Smith’s.
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