COLUMN: I'm Tired of Grayson Allen

COLUMN: I'm Tired of Grayson Allen

The Duke Blue Devils are one of those teams with no middle ground. Basketball fans either love them or hate their guts. Casual Duke fans are rare to come by, largely due to their success. They’re the equivalent of the New York Yankees, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat (formerly), Cleveland Cavaliers (recently), Dallas Cowboys, etc. And, if we’re being honest, the hatred is usually a result of success. The New York Yankees just outbid every team on the market and get whoever they want, no matter what. Duke—alongside Kentucky—somewhat fits a similar description. Their brand and reputation allows them to snatch up most of the best talent in the country, thus leading to contention year in and year out. This is unfair. It’s annoying. It’s a good, irrational reason to hate Duke. People can only hate on success. And so, for years, the hatred of Duke has been typical but inorganic.

I’m not saying I hate Duke, but I understand why anyone would recently do so. I am absolutely tired of Grayson Allen. As mean as it may sound, his collegiate career cannot finish fast enough for me. After receiving limited minutes on the Jahlil Okafor-led 2015 national champion team, Allen was viewed as an integral part of Duke’s core moving forward. Expectations were high for the talented stud, bringing solid shooting in addition to his athleticism. However, two years have gone by and his basketball ability is not the topic of conversation.

Grayson Allen is immature, often a dirty player and a detriment to his team. Hopefully he gets it together, but we’re now in the second year of him doing the exact same stuff. How long do we give a player to get his act together? If he doesn’t do so, he will be a detriment to any team he is ever on, and thus how an NBA team would take the risk of drafting this kid is beyond me.

Over the last two years, he’s been involved in three separate incidents in which he has [seemingly intentionally] tripped an opposing player. After his most recent tripping incident, Duke slapped him on the wrist with a comical 1-game suspension, all while the NCAA did nothing. And to really send a message, he lost his title as team captain. That’ll show him!

In addition to three tripping incidents, he got away with what seemed like another trip versus Boston College on Jan. 7th. A few days later, as Duke is getting blown out by Florida State, while chasing a loose ball out of bounds, he seems to have shoved an assistant coach.

We can talk about intentions and where his heart is all you want. However, two things are very clear to me. There’s a big difference between being scrappy and physical compared to dirty. The former means you aren’t afraid of contact or diving for loose balls or doing any of the hard word. The latter means trying to gain a competitive edge via the use of non-basketball actions. Intentionally tripping a player is dirty. Intentionally standing under a shooter’s legs is dirty. Intentionally hitting a player in the groin is dirty. There’s a difference. Grayson Allen is not scrappy and physical. Secondly, there is no such thing as coincidence.

We all overlooked the first trip. It’s just a trip. Who knows? But fool us once, shame on you; fool us twice, shame on us. How many times does he have to do something before we can actually criticize the kid for all of his actions? Better yet, how many times before we can give him a real punishment rather than a comical 1-game suspension. He should have missed at least five games in my opinion. Duke fans coming to his rescue are so biased it’s almost laughable. It’s just coincidence? We’re nitpicking? Sure. It just happens to be that when something seemingly dirty happens, Grayson Allen just happens to be involved! Sure! It’s like parents who refuse to believe their kid is the problem, despite the fact that their kid is the common denominator of all incidents of the kind.

Injury or not, Coach Mike Krzyzewski gets no pass on this either. This whole debacle has been a major sign of hypocrisy and softness by the beloved Coach K. If you recall last year, after a loss to Oregon, Coach K took it upon himself to criticize Dillon Brooks over a shot at the end of the game. The Ducks led 79-68 with under 15 seconds left in the game. However, the shot clock was about 7 seconds below the game clock. Instead of holding the ball for a shot clock violation, Brooks took (and made) a three with 10 seconds left on the game clock, before the shot clock ran out. It was unnecessary, and perhaps maybe even showed poor sportsmanship, but it was certainly not dirty.

After the game, Coach K pulled him aside to lecture him, telling him he’s too good of a player to being doing something like that. Brooks admitted his wrongdoing to the media, as well as his conversation with Coach K. Later, when confronted about it, Coach K denied saying such things, despite audio clearly capturing the conversation. And so, he felt it necessary to teach some sort of moral lesson about the unwritten rules of basketball to a player that isn’t even his own. Yet, with his own player being involved in several suspiciously dirty plays, he merely passed on a firm 1-game suspension. He has sure demanded the best out of Allen!

If I were an NBA GM, I wouldn’t go anywhere near that kid. He is a serious problem waiting to happen. Should he bring that into the NBA—assuming he gets drafted—some sort of suspension or fine might not be the worst thing coming his way, depending on the player he decides to mess with. The NBA is a grown-man’s league with adults. Those silly, dangerous tactics won’t fly too well with the league’s Tony Allen’s and such. Hell, they might even cost you the NBA Finals.

I love that, no matter what, he never believes he's in the wrong. He sometimes even throws a fit when he gets caught. That's real mature.

I’m tired of Grayson Allen.