The top NCAA star was pulled from the game with a mild knee sprain — the 18-year-old is in stable condition and expected to make a full recovery. Even though the injury was nothing serious, Nike stock still took a tumble, falling 1 percent Thursday morning.
“We are obviously concerned and want to wish Zion a speedy recovery. The quality and performance of our products are of utmost importance. While this is an isolated occurrence, we are working to identify the issue,” Nike said in a statement.
Fans began tweeting and Instagramming up a storm about the bizarre incident, which happened during one of the buzziest NCAA games of the year. Tickets for the game were selling at upwards of $2,000 a pop, with notables like former U.S. President Barack Obama snagging courtside seats.
On Twitter, @clifftothemound made a joke about Williamson’s sneakers preventing a big scoring night.
Other social media users were quick to draw a comparison between the incident and a scene in the film “Like Mike,” where 14-year-old Calvin Cambridge’s shoe splits apart.
Some fans hypothesized that the cause of the injury could be Williamson’s 285-pound frame, arguing that the sneaker model he selected was built for someone with a leaner body type. One tweeter joked that the Duke star would have to come out in Timberland boots next time.
“SpongeBob SquarePants” memes have been huge in the past few years, and one Instagram user Photoshopped a pair of blown-out sneakers onto the cartoon sponge, writing “Duke: We can’t wait to blow out UNC in front of the former president this is gonna be grea- Zion:”
Another meme, posted to Instagram, played off the famous Nike “Just Do It” slogan.
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Too much @zionlw10 . Get well and come back stronger. @dukembb @nikebasketball @nike @ncaa ____________________________________________________ What shoes do you think would hold zion’s playing style? Comment down below ____________________________________________________ #illustration #typography #type #typetopia #graphicdesign #nike #basketball #justdoit #zionwilliamson #dukebasketball #duke #nopunintended #puns #funnymemes #humor #creative #digitalart
One Instagram user joked that it seemed as if a basketball had been deflated through Williamson’s shoe.
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