It’s been over two weeks since Zion Williamson’s former agent Gina Ford filed a lawsuit against him, claiming that he received impermissible benefits to play basketball at Duke. Last night, we finally heard from Zion himself — at least, through a legal document. According to Daniel Wallach, Zion filed for a protective order against the inquiry, which he called “invasive” and “irrelevant”:
Last Friday, Williamson’s legal team filed a motion with the Miami-Dade County Circuit Court, asking that the requested discovery against him be “stayed” (meaning put on hold) pending the resolution of Williamson’s appeal of that court’s order denying his motion to dismiss that action for lack of personal jurisdiction. Alternatively, Williamson’s attorneys have asked the Florida court to enter a “protective order” against Ford’s requested discovery, arguing that it is “invasive, “burdensome,” “legally irrelevant,” and “nothing more than a fishing expedition aimed at tarnishing Williamson’s reputation.”
Last time I checked Merriam Webster, neither “invasive” nor “irrelevant” means “false.” It will be interesting to see whether or not the judge decides to grant the order, which would prevent Ford’s lawyers from beginning discovery, which could include Zion, his family members, and even Mike Krzyzewski being questioned under oath.
In case you need a refresher on the lawsuit, Williamson originally signed a deal with Ford’s company, Prime Sports Marketing, but backed out to sign with Creative Artists Agency. To get out of his deal with Prime Sports, he sued Ford, claiming the contract was void because it violated North Carolina’s Uniform Athlete Agents Act since Prime Sports Marketing is not a registered agent there. In response, Ford sued Williamson for breach of contract, claiming that he was not protected by the Uniformed Athlete Agents Act because he received illegal benefits at Duke. Specifically, Ford wants answers from Williamson, his mother, and his stepfather about the house they lived in while he was at Duke, along with other gifts, money, and potentially a car he received during his time as a Blue Devil.
For more on this recent development, check out Wallach’s very thorough piece on Forbes.com.