Who are you, Grayson Allen?

Who are you, Grayson Allen?

I was a chunky kid, still remember my mom telling me (forcefully, now that I’m thinking about it) that I needed to curb my carbohydrate addiction. I might’ve been 10. This fact was mostly unfortunate on my end via my first love (before or after Eminem and Third Eye Blind – I’m not sure) being the game of basketball. Still got a Vince Carter Raptors jersey somewhere in my parents house that fits me as well as a dish rag would. Whatever, point being – I wasn’t much for the old jog as a kid (still not but I’m a little better, trying to be anyway). How’d I counter that on the basketball court where I spent so much time? Sit at the 3 pt arc and shoot, shoot, shoot.

Funny thing about repetition, it works, unless you’re like…destined to fucking suck at something. I can hardly dribble a basketball these days without hitting my feet, but I’ll still fill it up (uncontested 3 pointers in a game of horse ft. jeans and a couple beverages) with enough time to get warm. Where the love inside the love started, I can’t be sure, but Duke basketball was my first favorite sports team. This was ostensible destiny on account of my living with the shiniest of golden domed Notre Dame fans I’ve ever met for the latter three years of college (I think he polished his desk helmet with more than one bodily fluid – it’s ok, we’re best friends) and OH, the audio loop – “I can’t believe that you’re a Duke fan.”

There’s no regional affiliation – just been loyal (middle finger up, Brady lovers) and it’s…what it is. A little like swearing, the truth about elementary school teachers, or that you came into this world by your parents having (ya know) – it’s one of those things you already know before you realize you can remember it at all. Duke basketball having the hatable white guy, that is.

Scant opinions on Jalen Rose, why should I – he had the cards stacked against him (like, life, man) more than I ever did. But this 30 for 30 snippet is, for me, one of the purest examples of why sports fan-ship can be about as stupid as it gets. Rose’s disavowing of Duke as a high school kid and into college while playing for a situational rival is justified and probably encouraged on several fronts. Duke’s recruiting of a certain kind of player is obvious here because, well, everyone is. Save the no. 1 – most top 25 schools are building for a mold. It’s like a song about love, or love in general, or love actually — you’ve got fucking preferences. Just like the first breakup was hard, probably the 2nd one, well – mostly they’re hard but you see the point…you get to a juncture where you know what you’re looking for. In this sense a partner, a sale, or college basketball recruiting are no different. It has to work. As a kid in high school and college Rose is, again, justified in his disdain for the Duke process. He wasn’t wanted, everyone wants to be wanted, it’s human.

This calls into question two things.

Can you label Krzyzewski a situational racist?

IF or Not :

Does that offer a really, really, absurdist parallel about Duke always having or always supposed to be having a white star on the floor who people.fucking.despise?

I think it would be a little strange to label Coach K as a bigot, but maybe take into account also that I’ve been watching this show from the Northeast for my entire life. Who the fuck am I? Anyway, it would seem to not be the case of racism and maybe more so that – given his collegiate education at West Point and tutelage under Bob Knight – he likes a university with structure. This is to say that he likes his job, the status that comes with it, and is willing to adhere to certain guidelines of normalcy set forth by a faceless administration under the shared surname of Dean. Duke, in this, is more in the open than most universities of such stature – look deeper into the Lacrosse rape scandal, and also take account at the swiftness with which Rasheed Sulaimon was moved to a separate CBB cupboard last year.

Why should Duke have a hatable why guy? History, probably. That or some uber American part of your conscience tucked inside shoes or under the stairs that just, just, needs something to hate. Grayson Allen is the latest example.

He’s done this twice over the last few weeks. Both instances were very obviously on purpose, one might even say…calculated. I’m a pretty biased Duke fan, telling you here first that I’m loving every second of it. I went through the majority of this day thinking that Allen had been legitimately punished for the 2nd of these trips but am now realizing that he wasn’t – and I guess I should be pissed on principle, or something, but I’m a fan. Frankly I’m more upset that the best player on my (2nd) favorite team (love the Tennessee Titans – life is absurd) looks like a Splice-esque love child between Ted Cruz and a Teletubby.


The representation here, as with anything else, is an icon of the system it’s operating within. Not the flesh and blood carrying the thought at the time. But who the fuck am I?

Works funny in your early twenties if you’re taking things seriously in what’s hopefully not a dead end gig, but mostly when mid day texts with buddies remind you of the constant idiocracy occupying your time not so long ago. I’ve got a friend who’s seeing a rich girl, like a rich girl, but that’s not important. What’s important is his stumbling into the situation through circumstances that could only be made up if not actually true. He texted me today, talking about himself as a stud. I told him that (in his oft spoken, presumed to be wise words) “nobody wants to be the team who can’t lose.”

Response? “Good point, but I’m also the guy who said he was going to get a Keystone Light tattoo. How much can you really listen to what I say?”

Fuck you, go duke.


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