Every four years, it seems as though Coach K manages to find a new player that embodies Duke University. From Christian Laettner to JJ Redick to Steve Wojciechowski, Coach Mike Krzyzewski has been able to sustain his teams’ identity: elitist, privileged, spoiled, dirty, cocky, and most importantly really good at basketball.
We all love to hate these guys, but Grayson Allen, who is the continuation of this trend, is a different breed. He covers all of the same criteria, but recent hate for him has reached a new extreme. Anyone who is not currently in a coma is aware of his recent incidents in which he is caught tripping numerous victims on the basketball court across the nation. The backlash has been pretty severe, with people calling for his head and even claiming that he is suffering from mental illness because of how preposterous his actions have been.
Thankfully, Coach K suspended Grayson for one entire game which completely rehabilitated him and brought him back a new man. Since the suspension, Grayson has only tripped another player and happened to aggressively push a Florida State assistant into the second row.
Not only is there a blatant lack of accountability for his actions, but Allen has the mentality of a 7-year-old to go with it. He has temper tantrums on the bench when things don’t go his way, and will rub it in your face when he’s beating you. He is the ultimate villain and maybe the most hated figure in sports right now.
With all of that being said, I think that Grayson Allen is the best thing to happen to the game of college basketball in a long time. Despite electrifying freshmen like Lonzo Ball and Malik Monk, it’s Allen’s antics that are putting butts in the seats. A true villain in any sport is going to be good for it. Popularity for the NBA skyrocketed in the 90s because of the “Bad Boy” Pistons and a guy named Michael Jordan who many were not too fond of at the time. The Miracle On Ice probably wouldn’t have been that big of a deal if we were indifferent towards the Soviet Union. College basketball has a huge opportunity to grow because of America’s sweetheart, Grayson.
People love to hate him and people love to hate Duke. Come March, all eyes will be on Allen and the Blue Devils.