Michael Avenatti Nike attack continued with fresh accusations around Zion Williamson

Zion Williamson

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Nike is "working to identify the issue" after Duke freshman Zion Williamson had his shoe burst apart mid-game against rival North Carolina.

Avenatti's Nike documents also showed the brand's alleged payments to some associates linked with amateur basketball players including former OR star Bol Bol, Deandre Ayton and Brandon McCoy. Additional details in the documents suggest that some of the payments were billed to Nike through fraudulent invoices disguised as business expenses.

In the documents, it is claimed that Nike executives Carlton DeBose and Jamal James paid Gary Franklin, a longtime coach of a Los Angeles AAU basketball team, who then used the money to pay other people.

In a series of tweets, Avenatti alleged that Nike arranged for Williamson's mother, Sharonda Sampson, to get paid for "consulting services".

"We are aware of the allegation and, as we would with any compliance matter, are looking into it. Duke is fully committed to compliance with all NCAA rules and regulations", White wrote to The Chronicle. Avenatti has yet to provide visual proof of any payments to persons connected to Williamson.

Williamson's recruitment also came up during the FBI investigation in college basketball corruption case involving Adidas officials and includes Kansas. "Every student athlete at Duke is reviewed to ensure their eligibility".

The celebrity-lawyer was arrested in March for federal charges of "trying to extort millions of dollars from Nike by threatening to take his allegations public".

Much of the alleged monetary transfers surrounding Ayton and Bol went to Melvin McDonald, who Avenatti identifies as the "handler" for both players.

With multiple companies expected to bid for Williamson, the star forward is likely to receive a signature shoe with his rookie contract in the National Basketball Association, putting him in rare company. There also were two estimated payments of $5,000 to cover travel expenses by Ayton's family.

On June 30, 2016, the head of a Nike-sponsored AAU basketball club in Southern California exchanged texts with Shaun "Ice" Manning, the San Diego-based guardian for 7-foot center Brandon McCoy who played at Morse High and Cathedral Catholic.

"I nearly forgot - long day - @DukeMBB can you also have your close friends at @Nike check their Nike Vendor Portal for payments to "Sharonda Sampson Consulting".

"Nike is guilty of rampant criminal conduct in bribing players for years and has been striving for weeks now to distract away from their bribery and fraud perpetrated at the highest levels".

Avenatti dared Nike to deny his allegations wrong in his tweets on Friday and Saturday.

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