Anti-Duke Manifesto-The Complete Hate

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Other absurd examples of the Duke flop’s bastardizing effect on the game abound. When I attended Duke, for example, the student body rejoiced as Christian Laettner actually got the better of a vaunted LSU center named Shaquille O’Neal. Two seasons earlier, Christian finished with better numbers than Alonzo Mourning. These unfathomable outcomes were all due to the manner with which the college official favors Duke above any other team.

One must wonder why college refs would show such transparent favoritism to a program of haughty whiners. Remember Phil Henderson’s publicized mid-season tirade about Lenny Wirtz? How about Krzyzewski’s tendency to hold mid-court tantrums, replete with profanity, any time his team falls behind in a game? Just last season, the man experienced a seemingly endless meltdown, which would have made any spoiled three year-old envious, as his team lost at home to Georgia Tech. Who could forget K’s classless screaming to refs ‘you killed us’ after his team’s 2004 semifinal loss to UConn. Or Matt Christiansen physically accosting a referee in the aftermath of an earlier Duke tournament loss, only to be recognized weeks later by Coach K as the player who most exemplifies Duke basketball. And still the refs treat these spoiled louts as if they were their own fair-haired children.

At any rate, it is because of the Duke players’ inability to adjust to the shock of objectively enforced rules that so many fail in the NBA, and in Europe (e.g., Casey Saunders’ cut by a Swedish team; Nate James canned in France), and quickly return – where else – to Duke to rejoin Coach K as an assistant coach. Any given year brings us a team of real world flops who take on the role of assistant coach. Currently, two of Duke’s more obnoxious alumni – Chris Collins and Steve Wojokowski – join Johnny Dawkins in this capacity. Others, such as Tommy Amaker, Quinn Snyder, David Henderson, have found homes as equally underachieving college head coaches. Note that the latter two were recently fired for their recurring futility.

The biggest mystery to all of this is why any high school standout would chose Duke in light of this history. There is simply no doubt that Duke players fail, routinely, in the NBA (and elsewhere) after graduation. This is not opinion; it is absolute, stone cold FACT. Still, year after year, Coach K lands three to five McDonald’s high school All-Americans, only to see the same players humiliate themselves in pro ranks. Truly, a high school All-American selecting Duke has to be the worst career move since Shelly Long left the cast of Cheers. The same is true for any pro scout who selects a Duke player in the NBA draft. And yet, sure as the day is long, some NBA team will make JJ Redick a lottery pick within the next six months.