Duke Blue Devils Hall of Famer Christian Laettner has one fatherly advice to rising star Grayson Allen, “never commit the same mistake” he did that will surely haunt all the days of his basketball life.
Laettner made the comment over USA Today when he saw the clip wherein the 20-year old shooting guard was called for a flagrant after tripping a Louisville player in the NCAA Tournament. Laettner, who started his career also with Duke, wants Allen to grow as a talented player and not as the next bad boy inside the court.
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“I was like, ‘Ah, poor Grayson. I hope they don’t do to him what they did to me.’ It’s not nice, it’s not fun and it’s a little unfair. For whatever reason, the people that don’t appreciate Duke basketball or don’t pull for Duke basketball, they have a tendency to vilify one of the players. And a lot of times it might be a white guy. And has it happened over and over in the past? Yes,’’ Laettner said.
Laettner added that he learned from his mistake in the past, he was referring to the incident back in 1992 wherein he stomped Kentucky’s Aminu Timberlake in the chest after hitting the game-winning shot, which was caught on camera.
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“It’s a mistake, and I’ve watched it. I’ve seen replays of that play a thousand times. And every time I’m like, ‘Ew, I wish I didn’t do that,’ ” Laettner explained.
In an interview also with Fox Sports, Laettner, who is in close contact with the players over at Duke, stated that young players need to understand that once they are labelled to be dirty players they could not shake that off their names like what happened to him in the past.
“You can’t do something stupid at any time. If you do, you’re going to get technicals or flagrant fouls or you’re going to get kicked out of the game or whatever. And when they’re older they’ll be glad they didn’t do any stupid things like Laettner did that one,” Laettner added.
If Laettner’s call has gotten head from Allen, it remains to be seen as the Duke takes on top seed Oregon Ducks in the Sweet 16 rounds at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.
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