Great White Hate
Grayson Allen has officially reached the level that J.J. Reddick and Christian Laettner made synonymous with Duke Basketball; a talented white player hated by everyone outside of Durham.
Allen's hatred differs from Reddick and Laettner, who were both players that could silence a gym with daggers. Allen's hatred is due to his dirty antics on the court. For the third time in two seasons, Allen has tripped an opponent on the court. Wednesday night, Allen tripped Elon's Steven Santa Ana, receiving a technical that led to his big meltdown on the bench.
In February, Allen had two tripping incidents against Florida State and Louisville, both inside Cameron Indoor Stadium. Allen was hit with a flagrant 1 for tripping Ray Spalding of Louisville. Neither Duke or the ACC decided to suspend Allen. Coach K instead had Allen apologize to both opposing coaches and players.
Well, here we are again. Another tripping incident by Allen and another apology from Coach K. An apology won't work this time, the masses are demanding actions. Less than 24 hours after the incident writers and fans are demanding that Allen is suspended.
In the beginning of the season, ESPN did a special sit-down interview with Allen about being that next hated Duke player, comparing him to Reddick and Laettner. Allen hasn't reached that level of hatred in his four years at Duke, even after the tripping incidents last February. He has yet to have an entire gym scream obscenities at him like Reddick heard while playing at UMD in 2004. Allen won't have a "30 For 30" documenting the amount of hate he received during his college career. Opposing gyms don't hate Allen, they just dislike him because he plays for the opposing team.
Things could change now. Now Allen could start receiving the amount of hate that would make people question humanity, but not because he is a great player, instead because he is a dirty player. A dirty player that plays for Duke is a double-whammy and worse than being a great player that plays for Duke.
The question is can he revel in the hatred like Reddick and Laettner did? Quick indication shows that he can't after his blow up on the bench. He has the expectation and potential to be that standout guy for Duke this year but he has let his emotions get the best of him sometimes, something that rarely happened to Laettner or Reddick. Neither fell victim of the negative attention, they just continued to make great plays while basking in the hatred of the college basketball world.
Despite being suspended indefinitely, non-Duke fans are still going to hate him for his dirty antics. What we all should watch and hope to see is how Allen will react to it if he is allowed to play ball again this season. College Basketball needs another "Great White Hate"; a compelling white player that plays for Duke. He has all the tools to be that player with more overall talent than Reddick and dirty antics like Laettner, along with being an upperclassman. Allen should embrace all hatred that will come his way from now on and use it to propel himself into college basketball folklore.