Saturday, January 07, 2017

Ten Things I Think About Grayson Allen

In no particular order:

  1. My one interaction-at-a-remove with Grayson Allen was off the court. He was incredibly friendly and generous to my twelve year old Duke fan of a nephew, and spent a good chunk of time talking to him. 
  2. The fact that he was nice and generous and pleasant off the court has nothing to do with what he has done repeatedly on the court.
  3. The tripping is bad. The complete and utter meltdown on the bench after the incident in the Elon game was worse. It's unkind to have that moment broadcast nationally, and it's troubling to see.
  4. Suspending him indefinitely was the right move. The pattern of behavior was such that it had become a regular thing, and it had become the dominant narrative around both Allen and his team this year. That needed to change.
  5. Stripping Allen of his captaincy was also a good idea. What he demonstrated was the precise opposite of leadership.
  6. Neither you nor I have any idea what the actual reasoning was behind the decision to end Allen's suspension at one game. Maybe he'd undergone intensive therapy and had a come-to-Jesus moment. Maybe there was some kind of breakthrough. Who knows? Not me or thee, because while I may live in Durham, I have no access to the inner workings of the Duke program.
  7. That being said, the optics of ending Allen's suspension after one game - a bad loss - are terrible.
  8. You would think Duke would know better than to make a move like this, especially when the game he was activated for was an eminently winnable one against Georgia Tech. The easy, obvious storyline is that Duke lost to VT, they panicked, they ended Allen's "indefinite" suspension which was really no suspension at all, and they care more about winning than they do about principle.
  9. Yes, Coach K having back surgery is a complicating factor. No, it doesn't make the optics look any better on this.
  10. For Allen's sake as well as their own, Duke should have made the suspension at least two games, probably three. This would have headed off the obvious, cheap takes and demonstrated more of a commitment to getting Allen's head straight before he ends up tripping someone into a torn ACL. 
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