While streaming on Instagram Live on March 6 via his personal account, Williamson was wearing apparel from Adidas, arguably Nike’s biggest competitor worldwide. A screenshot of the livestream was shared on Twitter via The Action Network sports business reporter and senior executive producer Darren Rovell.
“What do you call Zion Williamson Instagramming live in an outfit with 12 adidas logos? Negotiations,” Rovell wrote in the tweet with the screenshot.
While Williamson has to wear Nike on the court while lacing up for the Duke Blue Devils, a school backed by the Swoosh, he does not have a deal with the brand. And just like everything else in life, debates are taking place on social media on what brand he will sign with once he decides to leave school.
When the Blue Devils hosted the North Carolina Tar Heels on Feb. 20, Williamson’s Nike PG 2.5 sneaker split open less than a minute into the game. The star baller left the game with a knee injury and did not return.
After the incident, Rovell tweeted a statement provided by Nike about the shoe: “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.”
Six days later, an Adidas shoe suffered a similar fate on a college court. The Adidas Harden Vol. 3 worn by Indiana Hoosiers player forward Justin Smith split during the Hoosiers’ 75-73 win over the Wisconsin Badgers.
In an email to FN about the shoe, Adidas 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.”