Michael Avenatti insists Pelicans’ Zion Williamson was paid by Nike to attend Duke
Williamson and his camp were accused of receiving payment from Nike to choose Duke. The Blue Devils organization then quickly conducted an investigation about the allegation and found nothing that will support the claim against the incoming NBA rookie.
“As soon as Duke was made aware of any allegation that might have affected Zion Williamson’s eligibility, we conducted a thorough and objective investigation which was directed by individuals outside the athletics department,” Schoenfeld wrote. “We found no evidence to support any allegation. Zion thrived as both a student and an athlete at Duke, and always conducted himself with integrity and purpose.”
However, lawyer Michael Avenatti — the individual behind the lawsuit against Nike — questioned the credibility of Duke’s investigation and pointed out that he wasn’t interviewed during the process,
“I never heard from anyone associated with Duke in connection with my allegations or any investigation,” Avenatti said. “I was never asked a single question. I was never asked what information or documents that I was aware of. Who the hell conducted this investigation? Inspector Clouseau? The documents and the hard evidence do not lie. Zion Williamson was paid to attend Duke.”
Zion was an incredible athlete for the Blue Devils. In his 33 appearances for the team, he scored 22.6 points, grabbed 8.9 rebounds and wowed the crowd with his inhuman athleticism. He was a part of a top-heavy Duke team that also featured RJ Barrett and Cam Reddish.
Williamson was selected first overall in the 2019 Draft and is expected to be the face of the Pelicans franchise in the near future.