Ahead of Zion Williamson’s return last night, there were reports that the Duke big man would wear the Nike Kyrie 4 instead of the PG 2.5s he’d worn during the sneaker blowout seen ’round the world. Sure enough, Williamson did end up wearing the Kyrie 4, but it wasn’t the standard version of the shoes found on retail shelves.
Instead, Nike reportedly sent a team of specialists down to Durham, North Carolina, to meet with Williamson the day after the mishap. Per Sports Illustrated‘s Jonathan Jones, Duke head coach Michael Krzyzewski said that Nike flew its “top people” to Duke, where they analyzed Zion’s game and the way shoes performed under his 280-plus pound frame. They then took the findings to China where they oversaw the manufacturing of a more resilient and stable sneaker, which was the revamped Kyrie 4 worn by Williamson last night.
So far, so good for Williamson’s new sneakers, as the prospect shot a perfect 13-for-13 from the field with 29 points and an additional 14 rebounds. After dropping Syracuse last night, Zion and the Blue Devils will take on the North Carolina Tar Heels tomorrow for the rivalry game everyone’s been waiting to see.
Nike has yet to respond to Sole Collector’s inquiry for comment at this time.