I guess I’m pretty used to the casual basketball fan throwing shade at the Duke program. Doesn’t bother me all that much because they don’t know the inner-workings of what goes on – Hell, I barely know. For some odd reason fans and unfortunately some in the media think that Coach K and his program owe them something. Clearly we have reached a point in society where sports journalists are completely overstating and overestimating their importance. (just as an aside, I’m a blogger, not a journalist – I don’t get paid for this)
In the case of Grayson Allen, I’m pretty sure there isn’t a person alive who condones what he did. I sure don’t. The first thing I said was that I thought it was deserving of a suspension and I thought that he may lose his captaincy because of it. I’m also smart enough to know that my opinion on what the punishment should be doesn’t matter. Sure I can have an opinion, so can you, but it’s getting to the point where people in the media, some I used to respect, are DEMANDING something more. Demanding? Seriously? Calling into question the character of the coach who chooses to handle things mostly outside of the public eye. Some were pissed that Coach K didn’t suspend Allen during the game – that he waited until he saw the video to make a move, some were pissed that he suspended Allen at all – that it should have come from the ACC. Good lord, these hot-takes are making me thirsty.
Certainly Grayson deserved to be punished there is no doubt about it, and K did that. People can play with the wording all they want to but Coach K was clear in his words that it was called an “indefinite” suspension because the length was based on Allen performing and executing a certain criteria. It just happened to be that Grayson did what he needed to do within a 14 day period. There were aspects that weren’t released to the media – not everything needs to be. If you are reading this and you have a hard time understanding that, I’m pretty certain Coach K does not care. What happens within his program isn’t there and doesn’t need to satisfy us as fans nor the media at-large. Those that have a problem with Duke and Coach K, will always have a problem with Duke and Coach K. I’ve been a fan long enough to know that. I’m not a blind follower that some assert, I don’t always agree with what Coach K does, but I also try to put things in perspective. His job involves trying to get the best from these young men to also make them into better people. It’s never been just about wins and I have no doubt that there are more facets to the Allen situation that we will ever know, just as there are facets to his punishment and redemption that we will never know. I accept that.
It’s funny to me that we want these players to be like the pros and yet we celebrate and even laugh when professionals basically do the exact same thing or at least similar. To those that are outraged and angered by Grayson are you just as outraged by what Draymond Green has a history of doing or nah? Kicking players in the groin, the head, injuring another with a kick (Marquese Chriss’ right pinky), that’s OK right?. Where was your outrage then? Did the media call for Steve Kerr or the NBA to step in and suspend Green? I’m curious as to why not…could it be your own selective outrage for a program that clearly functions with or without your angst?
I assure you, that none of you have the history of mentoring upstanding young men or teaching that Coach K has. I am also sure that most of you, probably none of you, have run a college program for the decades that Coach K has. Is he perfect? Well of course not. No one is. Can we be certain that Grayson is never going to have another incident? Probably not, but nothing can guarantee that. No one wants to see it happen again, least of all a coach that truly cares for his player – but something tells me that no matter what happens people are going to hate him, hell they hated him before he tripped anyone.
It says a lot about some of you that you were more interested in the severity of the punishment than hoping that the young man got help in dealing with his issues. That, I guess, is where we are – and that is really kind of ugly if you ask me. I get it that people who put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard want to be paid attention to – whether they are legit media or not but please do yourself a favor and stop expecting K to deliver your pound of flesh. It isn’t anything that you’ve earned or deserve. YOU HAVE NO POWER HERE because guess what, no matter what happens, you’ll feel the same way and none of it will change or matter.