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Zion Shoe Mania Has Crested But Isn’t Over Yet

Here are some of the latest reactions

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NCAA Basketball: Duke at Syracuse
Feb 23, 2019; Syracuse, NY, USA; Duke Blue Devils forward Zion Williamson shoes he was wearing prior to a game against the Syracuse Orange at the Carrier Dome
Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

The reaction to Zion OMG Williamson’s shoe blowout continues to amaze and mystify.

Former Nike designer Tiffany Beers explains that in her opinion it has to be a manufacturing issue.

Kentucky’s PJ Washington sounds a bit uncertain but isn’t giving up his Nikes.

The New York Post, thoughtfully, has advice for gamblers. In the San Francisco Chronicle, Bruce Jenkins has a relatively nuanced opinion. A Miami Herald columnist tells Williamson to bag it. And the New York Times focuses on economics, pointing out, correctly, that ESPN and the ACC didn't suffer as a result of Williamson’s mishap.

They also touch on smaller conferences and Jordan Goldwire:

“Take Duke’s Jordan Goldwire. He was a midrated recruit out of high school, and his options besides Duke included midmajor programs such as Eastern Kentucky, Coastal Carolina and Nevada-Las Vegas. He is probably not bound for N.B.A. riches. This season, he has not played at all in three A.C.C. games and has averaged fewer than seven minutes in those he has played in. He played eight minutes against the Tar Heels on Wednesday. But that actually made him an essential contributor to a two-hour broadcast worth a lot of money to Duke, the A.C.C. and ESPN.”

That’s true, but so is this: Goldwire will make more money from a Duke degree than he will from basketball. Depending on what he decides to do with it, he could, over the course of his life, make a lot of money. Consider Rob Hardy, Scott Goetsch and Bruce Bell from the 1970’s. All three are attorneys and well off. Consider Kenny Dennard, who played in the NBA before his cancer diagnosis (and before NBA salaries exploded) and who has built a very nice life for himself. Consider Lee Melchionni, who was a reserve his entire career but who has emerged as a high powered agent. Consider Taymon Domzalski, who has achieved his ambition of becoming a radiologist.

Whatever happens with Goldwire and the NCAA’s basketball income, he should take former Blue Devil Phil Henderson’s advice. Yes, Henderson once said, Duke was exploiting him. The thing is that you should exploit Duke right back.

But we digress.

Everyone is giving Zion free advice so here’s our contribution: keep the shoe. After the season is over and you’ve declared eligibility for the NBA draft, pick a worthy charity and auction it off. Odds are you’ll get a ton of money for it (go figure) and some good will come out of all of the nonsense.

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