Zion Williamson is back, but gone are the Nike Paul George shoes that his foot busted through against North Carolina last month. Since Duke is a Nike school, Williamson will still be wearing Nike shoes, but this time the big man will be rocking Kyrie’s. Duke’s posted Williamson lacing up white and blue Kyrie 4’s just hours before the Blue Devils take on Syracuse in the ACC tournament. Duke also tagged former Duke player Kyrie Irving in the post.
“Lace ’em up #DukeKicks ? @KyrieIrving @ZionW32,” the caption reads.
Duke also posted the same photo on Instagram.
Williamson has been cleared to play and will see his first action since February. Despite some people urging the potential No. 1 pick to sit out, Williamson is expected to play in the ACC tournament and March Madness. ESPN detailed Williamson’s health heading into tonight’s game.
Williamson practiced in full throughout the week, and Krzyzewski said he expected the team would have a quick adjustment period working its star forward back into the lineup, putting the Blue Devils squarely back in the national championship picture.
“We have a re-set button,” Krzyzewski said after a loss to UNC to cap the regular season. “If Zion’s healthy, we have a chance.”
CBS Sports Gary Parrish noted on the Eye on College Basketball podcast that Williamson had been wearing the same shoes for weeks at the time of his injury. Williamson has been advised to switch out shoes before each game.
As for Williamson, he has been mostly quiet since the incident occurred. The Duke man posted an Instagram story photo of Jay-Z’s American Gangster album with the song “Roc Boys.”
Duke had only lost two games prior to Williamson’s injury but went 3-3 with the big man out of the lineup. Duke is 14-5 in Quadrant 1 and 2 wins over the season.
Adidas Keeps It Classy in Response to Zion’s Nike Blowout
While other companies have tried to take shots at Nike after Williamson’s shoe incident, Adidas has taken the high road. Adidas CEO Kasper Rorsted noted the company was not excited to see what happened with Williamson’s shoe.
“I had no particular joy or unjoy about that,” Rorsted said, per Sole Collector. “I looked upon it more in the eyes of, are we actually doing the right thing? Are we, as Adidas, building the right product. We will continue to sign great athletes.”