• by: Phil Cantor/@osgphil

Stop Freaking out over Zion Williamson's Shoe Accident


Oh my gawd! You'd think nobody in the history of Basketball has ever had a sneaker blowout during a basketball game before.

In a video seen nearly as many times as the Zapruder film, you can see his "Paul George" model Nike sneaker blowout as he tries to switch directions on the court during a game Wednesday night.

Before getting into the "Philosophical" contradictions here, let me explain something.

If you've ever played basketball at a competitive level, there's a decent chance you've had something similar happen to you. It happened to me in High School during a practice and I survived just fine. (note--My coach made me run after practice just like everyone else, I just had to run in my socks)....

The point being this: Stop blaming Nike for nearly ruining Zion Williamson, the kid. And yes, he's a kid, suffered a grade 1 (minor) knee sprain and as of Friday morning is "Day-to-Day" for Duke Basketball.

And that's where the stupid philosophical arguments start.....

Nearly every talking head on ESPN, CBS Sports, TNT, NBA Network and all the big websites along with the Cable News Networks have come out and said "Zion shouldn't play College Basketball anymore"....

Which sets up the contradiction. It's easy for the talking heads to say---outside the ex-athletes, the rest of no background or qualifications to make said judgements as a grown up who hasn't played.

In my case---I've gone on record advocating for College Football players sitting out Bowl Games to protect their NFL Draft stock. Which means to stay consistent, I should back all the experts.

They do have a smidge of a case. A case strengthened by Zion being likely the 1st pick in the coming year's NBA Draft. I get that, it's understood. You don't want to "Risk" an injury and potentially damage that position. It's an idiotic argument....

All of talking heads plus multiple NBA Players (because somehow the video went viral and every reporter in an NBA town went and asked) have chimed in and said he should "Shut it Down".

Maybe they are right, maybe they aren't. Ultimately it isn't for me....or for YOU to say.

Listen. A Basketball player can get hurt at any time. Game, practice, working out, walking down the street, showering in their dorm room. Athletes can't be wrapped in bubble wrap to protect them.

However, unlike the College Football players, who essentially would be skipping a Bowl Game which really does not offer anything to them other than a gift bag, Williamson is gaining valuable on-court experience.

All of a sudden, one incident has rekindled the debate over the age of entry into the NBA. Already Commissioner Adam Silver has brought back the idea of letting 18-year olds be draft able, as it was for a long, long time. The whole idea of "One-and-done" in College Basketball has created a very awkward situation for the game and its best players, so in that respect, it makes sense.

But don't sit here and shout to all the world--"Zion should sit". Quite honestly, if what happened to him, happened to nearly any other College Basketball player not playing in the highest profile regular season game of the year in front of a National Audience, we wouldn't be having this discussion.

Williamson is one hell of a talented basketball player and likely will be an NBA star. He already physically looks the part. By most accounts, he wanted to and seems to enjoy being in College and playing at Duke.

And if that's what he wants to do, he has EVERY right to do it. The money from the NBA and endorsements are going to be there when he is ready to go.

Which makes your opinion and EVERY other TV Talking Head, including the National News Networks who now feel the need to report on this because it's "Viral", irrelevant.

So please stop making this out to be some sort of National Emergency....it isn't. And stop blaming Nike, because things like this happen. Really, they do.

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