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Shoebotage?
Old 02-21-2019, 09:17 AM   #1
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Shoebotage?

I can't believe this is a coincidence. This is an horrible reflection on humanity. Another reason why I'm not into sports...too greedy and cut-throat for my tastes.


How many thousands of college basketball games are played with no catastrophic shoe failures? There are thousands of witnessed games, and someone probably is looking for catastrophic shoe failures, but I doubt they'll find many or any. And how many failures on well-funded teams? This guy is on the Duke team, routinely national champions, top-notch coaching, and so nothing like shoes worn-out to failure state would be remotely possible. And then, of course, it happens to one of the top ranked players in the nation. Like I said, couldn't possibly be a coincidence.



I don't think it was a manufacturing defect because why would it hit just this one super star and nobody else? And even though Michael Jordan (a Carolina guy) hates Duke, I think it's nuts to think he'd orchestrate such a thing. But it would be a trivial matter for someone to weaken the shoe by dragging a q-tip with acid on it along the fabric or leather. Anyone that had access to the shoes could have done it. I sure hope they do analysis on the shoe to see if there was any evidence of tampering.
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Old 02-21-2019, 09:23 AM   #2
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I think that's an awfully big leap. I've broken lots and lots of athletic equipment over the years, it just happens and timing is everything. This was bad timing. I broke a snowboard binding once that resulted in a torn ACL, surgery, rehab, etc....
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Old 02-21-2019, 09:29 AM   #3
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Hmm idk, I saw plenty stuff about the event in my twitter feed last night, including a lot of meme's on nike, but nothing about sabotage theories.

Flukes can happen. Would take someone very sick to risk an athlete's injury, as it could have been far worse than a sprained knee.
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Old 02-21-2019, 09:42 AM   #4
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Flukes can happen. Would take someone very sick to risk an athlete's injury, as it could have been far worse than a sprained knee.
Yes, I would agree. Who would want to sabotage this guy's shoes and also have unfettered access to carry it out? Seems like anyone with that level of access to his shoes would be extremely loyal to him and to the team. If that weren't the case, I think we'd see a lot more of this kind of thing in basketball and many other sports.
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Old 02-21-2019, 09:44 AM   #5
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I've assumed sponsored athletes get custom-made equipment, especially if they are physically outsized. Tall basketball players don't go to JC Penney to find size 16 and a half shoes.
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Old 02-21-2019, 09:52 AM   #6
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I've assumed sponsored athletes get custom-made equipment, especially if they are physically outsized. Tall basketball players don't go to JC Penney to find size 16 and a half shoes.
Exactly. This case sounds (to me) less like nefarious intent and more like a design / manufacturing fail. A example of just how difficult it is to model the real life stress or an athlete.

This article by SBNation lists a few other shoe failures. https://www.sbnation.com/college-bas...14-nba-history
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Old 02-21-2019, 09:54 AM   #7
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Would take someone very sick to risk an athlete's injury, as it could have been far worse than a sprained knee.
Yeah, like maybe Tonya and Nancy?
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Old 02-21-2019, 09:59 AM   #8
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This article by SBNation lists a few other shoe failures.
Thanks for that link. I didn't do any research on other blowouts. This makes shoebotage a bit less likely, but still, as the article says:
Quote:
Here you had the likely No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft, playing in the biggest game of his college career, in a contest hyped for weeks as being the must-watch game of the college basketball season — then, just 33 seconds into the game, this happened.
Why don't we see these failures in run-of-the-mill teams and run-of-the-mill players?



The article goes on to say:

Quote:
The precise history of shoe blowouts is difficult to pinpoint. Attention to the issue really only came with the advent of the internet, when we paid attention to weird stuff like this. It wasn’t until 2014 when blowouts happened multiple times that people really worried about it being part of a larger issue, though one has to imagine that it happened in past decades too.
For now people are questioning how this happened to Williamson, why it happened, and whether it will happen again in the future.

I wonder if the "supply chain" knows who will get what shoes. Obviously the shoe sizes are public information. How many on the Duke team wear the same size as Zion?
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Old 02-21-2019, 10:06 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by sengsational View Post
I can't believe this is a coincidence. This is an horrible reflection on humanity. Another reason why I'm not into sports...too greedy and cut-throat for my tastes.


How many thousands of college basketball games are played with no catastrophic shoe failures? There are thousands of witnessed games, and someone probably is looking for catastrophic shoe failures, but I doubt they'll find many or any. And how many failures on well-funded teams? This guy is on the Duke team, routinely national champions, top-notch coaching, and so nothing like shoes worn-out to failure state would be remotely possible. And then, of course, it happens to one of the top ranked players in the nation. Like I said, couldn't possibly be a coincidence.



I don't think it was a manufacturing defect because why would it hit just this one super star and nobody else? And even though Michael Jordan (a Carolina guy) hates Duke, I think it's nuts to think he'd orchestrate such a thing. But it would be a trivial matter for someone to weaken the shoe by dragging a q-tip with acid on it along the fabric or leather. Anyone that had access to the shoes could have done it. I sure hope they do analysis on the shoe to see if there was any evidence of tampering.
You're kidding, right?
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Old 02-21-2019, 10:09 AM   #10
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Full disclosure here: I worked for NIKE about 20 years ago.

When a shoe is first put into production the manufacturer (then a contractor who held a patent on the equipment) needs to determine the amount of pressure, adhesive, and temperature to adhere the sole for that specific model. Keep in mind the fact that the same contractor manufactured Adidas shoes. I have witnessed a lot of anger from customer service staff aimed at production staff over flaws. NIKE takes imperfects seriously. Never buy the first run of any product.

So embarrassing.
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Old 02-21-2019, 10:16 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by GrayHare View Post
I've assumed sponsored athletes get custom-made equipment, especially if they are physically outsized. Tall basketball players don't go to JC Penney to find size 16 and a half shoes.
I tried to lookup Zion's shoe size, and found "11", but I don't believe that. The average NBA player is 15.
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Old 02-21-2019, 10:21 AM   #12
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Got your tin foil hat on extra snug today huh?
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Old 02-21-2019, 10:48 AM   #13
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The potential-sabotage-hot-take isn't getting much traction online (barring some conspiracy theorist blogs):

From SI:

https://www.si.com/college-basketbal...s-legal-impact

"...it is difficult to imagine how a sneaker could be altered so that it would fall apart after being worn for at least several minutes (between Williamson’s pregame activities and the 36 seconds of the game)."
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Old 02-21-2019, 11:05 AM   #14
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If there is any evidence of sabotage, I'm sure Nike will shine a bright light on it (to darken the path to their liability).
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Old 02-21-2019, 11:31 AM   #15
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The ambulance chasers are all over this perhaps. Lawyers can smell $$$ lawsuit a mile away.
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Old 02-21-2019, 11:33 AM   #16
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Can you imagine being the team lead for the designers of that particular shoe.... Yikes, I bet it was hard to walk into work this morning.

I have often thought of the guy who brought down the NASDAQ one afternoon. He thought he was on a test network. I think he was a contractor. I would have stood up and walked out the door.
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Old 02-21-2019, 12:58 PM   #17
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"Here you had the likely No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft, playing in the biggest game of his college career, in a contest hyped for weeks as being the must-watch game of the college basketball season — then, just 33 seconds into the game, this happened. "

Biggest game of his college career? I don't think so. They will play NC two more times in the next couple weeks followed by the NCAA tournament.

Full disclosure, I played college basketball and football. I never "blew out" a shoe in competition but in HS and college I did have to run out and get a new pair of shoes hours before a contest on at least three occasions because I noticed a blow out was imminent. Once for football cleats in high school, once for basketball sneaks in HS and once for basketball sneaks in college.
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Old 02-21-2019, 01:12 PM   #18
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it could have been far worse than a sprained knee.
You're right, it could have been worse, good point.

I wanted to add that although I have never had one, a sprained knee sounds to me like it could be really, really terrible. It must hurt a lot and I'll bet they take nearly forever to completely heal.
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Old 02-21-2019, 01:23 PM   #19
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You're right, it could have been worse, good point.

I wanted to add that although I have never had one, a sprained knee sounds to me like it could be really, really terrible. It must hurt a lot and I'll bet they take nearly forever to completely heal.
Not nearly as bad as an ACL tear on the knee. 6 months recovery for professional athletes.
I tore mine at 40 y.o. End of playing basketball with other ~40 year olds competitively.
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Old 02-21-2019, 01:39 PM   #20
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Not nearly as bad as an ACL tear on the knee. 6 months recovery for professional athletes.
I tore mine at 40 y.o. End of playing basketball with other ~40 year olds competitively.
Ow! So sorry that happened to you.
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