Zion Williamson was present during the unveiling of Jordan Brand’s latest on-court sneaker, the Air Jordan 34, as one of the athletes that will be wearing the shoe when the NBA season tips off next month. And, for the first time since the infamous shoe blowout in a game against the University of North Carolina, Williamson spoke candidly about what he thought were the reasons for the torn shoe.
Immediately following the incident, Nike took measures to investigate the cause of the blowout and provide Zion with reinforced shoes to ensure it didn’t happen again. There was much speculation about what exactly caused the tearing of the shoe, with everyone from fans and industry insiders weighing in on whether it was faulty construction on Nike’s part or if Williamson was just too powerful.
Surprisingly, Williamson blamed himself, telling Sole Collector that he had been wearing the shoes too much and really should have used a fresh pair in the game against UNC. “It was just one of those things where the shoe was kinda worn out because I had been practicing in it lot and played a few hard games in it,” he said. “So I think that was just kinda like my mistake. I just need to change my shoe [more often].”
Williamson also explained that the shoe blowout had no bearing on why he chose Jordan Brand. What shoes Williamson would ultimately be wearing in the NBA was the story of the summer, with reports suggesting several overseas brands were willing to throw big money at the touted NBA superstar. In the end, Zion Williamson signed with Jordan Brand, citing his admiration for Michael Jordan and the “family feeling” of the brand as the reason for his choice.
Read Sole Collector’s full interview here.