Zion Williamson's exploding shoe isn't as uncommon as you might think

  • A freak injury sidelined Duke's Zion Williamson when his shoe exploded mid-game, leading to a knee injury.
  • While ESPN commentator Jay Bilas said he had never seen anything like that before, exploding shoes are not as uncommon as some might believe.
  • However, a montage of similar instances was created, showing other players with similar footwear malfunctions.

Wednesday night's rivalry game between the Duke Blue Devils and North Carolina Tar Heels got off to a rocky start after Blue Devils superstar Zion Williamson's shoe exploded just seconds after tip-off.

Williamson would leave the game with an injury, leaving the Blue Devils short-handed for the rest of the night in a game they would go on to lose 88-72.

Read more:Zion Williamson's shoe exploded and he injured a knee in first minute against North Carolina

Williamson's injury seemed rather extraordinary at first glance — an exploding shoe is hardly a common occurrence — but as some Twitter users were quick to point out, it was far from the first time fans have seen Nike shoes unravel in the middle of a game.

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Zion Williamson suffers knee injury after shoe 'explodes'
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Zion Williamson suffers knee injury after shoe 'explodes'
Duke's Zion Williamson (1) falls to the court under North Carolina's Luke Maye (32), injuring himself and damaging his shoe during the opening moments of the game in the first half on Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019, at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, N.C. (Robert Willett/Raleigh News & Observer/TNS via Getty Images)
Duke's Zion Williamson (1) falls to the floor with an injury while chasing the ball with North Carolina's Luke Maye (32) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Durham, N.C., Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
Duke forward Zion Williamson holds his knee after injuring himself and damaging his shoe during the opening moments of the game in the first half on Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019, at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, N.C. (Chuck Liddy/Raleigh News & Observer/TNS via Getty Images)
DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA - FEBRUARY 20: Zion Williamson #1 of the Duke Blue Devils reacts after falling as his shoe breaks against Luke Maye #32 of the North Carolina Tar Heels during their game at Cameron Indoor Stadium on February 20, 2019 in Durham, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA - FEBRUARY 20: A detailed view of the shoe worn by Zion Williamson #1 of the Duke Blue Devils against the North Carolina Tar Heels during their game at Cameron Indoor Stadium on February 20, 2019 in Durham, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
DURHAM, NC - FEBRUARY 20: Zion Williamson #1 of the Duke Blue Devils picks up his broken shoe in the first half against the North Carolina Tar Heels at Cameron Indoor Stadium on February 20, 2019 in Durham, North Carolina. (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)
Duke's Zion Williamson sits on the floor following an injury during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against North Carolina, in Durham, N.C., Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019. Duke might have to figure out what the Zion Show will look like without its namesake. All because of a freak injury to arguably the most exciting player in college basketball. As his Nike shoe blew out, Williamson sprained his right knee on the first possession of what became top-ranked Duke's 88-72 loss to No. 8 North Carolina. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
A trainer holds Duke's Zion Williamson's shoes after Williamson left the game due to an injury during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against North Carolina in Durham, N.C., Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019. Duke might have to figure out what the Zion Show will look like without its namesake. All because of a freak injury to arguably the most exciting player in college basketball. As his Nike shoe blew out, Williamson sprained his right knee on the first possession of what became top-ranked Duke's 88-72 loss to No. 8 North Carolina. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
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David Astramskas from Ballislife.com posted a montage of similar instances to Twitter, showing NBA players such as Manu Ginobili, Andrew Bogut, and Aaron Gordon befalling a similar fate to Williamson.

Even LeBron James has had a shoe give out on him in the middle of a game.

Williamson also isn't the only person to have run into problems with the particular shoe he was wearing.

In Wednesday night's game, Williamson was sporting the PG 2.5s, Paul George's signature shoe.

Read more:Zion Williamson was wearing a $110 pair of Nike sneakers when one shoe exploded and he injured his knee

On Nike's website, one reviewer reported a similar issue with the shoe, writing that after a month of wear, the sole had "busted through the bottom."

nike reviewNike.com

Nike has also had performance issues on the court beyond its footwear. At the start of the 2017-18 NBA season, the first since Nike took over as the league's jersey provider, numerous players struggled with torn uniforms.

Read more:The NBA's new Nike jerseys seem to have a major flaw — they rip easily

In real-time, Williamson's shoe-malfunction felt like a one-in-a-million happening — Nike even implied as much by calling the matter an "isolated incident."

Looking through the brand's history, the problem is more common than you might think.

More on Nike and Zion Williamson:

Puma came under fire for a tweet that appeared to mock Nike and Zion Williamson's injury

The NBA world called on Zion Williamson to sit out the rest of the college season after his freak injury reignited a debate over NCAA rules

Nike shares slide after Zion Williamson's sneaker malfunction

Camera caught Obama's reaction the moment Zion Williamson's shoe exploded and he injured his knee

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