Duke as a university smacks of privilege, and the basketball program polarizes people like the Cowboys or the Yankees, without attracting as much of a loyal following - the concentration and comparison is mainly on the hate side.
And then there's the little issue of race. Combine the status of the university with the success of the program, then add in chippy white guys doing things that are just a little bit dirty, and you've got the basis for widespread hate inside the basketball culture.
Case Studies - watch the ESPN 30 for 30 episode entitled I Hate Christian Laettner. It pretty much breaks down why Duke is the team to hate in college basketball, focused on the iconic player from the program - a 6'11" white guy (Laettner) who wore the black hat his whole career. Click here for the full episode.
But Laettner was just one of many white guys that fans learned to hate. To be fair, there was hate flowing to black players in the Duke program (Grant Hill, Jay Williams), but the true scorn? Saved for the white guys.
A lot of that has to to with the fact that white guys at Duke always play on the edge. Take the most recent object of Duke haters - a guard named Grayson Allen who's actually been caught tripping opponents twice this year. Here's a quick rundown for the uninitiated from the New York Post:
First things first. If you haven't seen the trips, check out the video below (email subscribers click through for video) and let the Duke hate fester:
"Mike Krzyzewski stood up for his star player by hiding behind his school, saying that serial tripper Grayson Allen is only getting severe blowback around the college basketball landscape because of the jersey he wears.
After Allen appeared to stick out his leg for the second time in a month to topple an opponent — the latest being Florida State’s Xavier Rathan-Mayes in Duke’s win Thursday — Coach K insisted the ACC’s decision not to suspend his point guard was the correct one, and any contrary thought only exists because of the university’s reputation.
The Duke loathing stretches back to early-’90s Christian Laettner, and Allen already has taken his place on the growing list of villains that the Blue Devils produce. Critics see these stars as entitled and cocky, seemingly above the law. And they play at a university that prides itself on academics, a school they believe turns up its nose at the rest of the scandal-plagued NCAA landscape.
And, more than anything else, Duke wins. It’s a breeding ground for hate. Where others see the Blue Devils getting breaks from officials, Krzyzewski sees his players getting undue criticism from the public."
But wait. There's a Talent/Recruiting nugget here. Allen's a highly recruited and highly successful player. He lives off of driving to the basket and with that in mind, ends up in a lot of physical confrontations.
Should Allen have been suspended for the second trip? Absolutely.
Do you need more employees like Allen? Yes you do. Absolutely.
Allen is an alpha employee who competes. He's wired to be on edge all the time, to force the action. He's your classic high assertiveness hire who's always going to be pushing for results.
We kid ourselves by thinking the world doesn't revolve around these type of people in our organizations. There's a role for all behavioral types in our companies, but it's the high assertives who bring it every day who get most of the results. Take a look at your sales team. If they're performing, you've got a bunch of Grayson Allens. Your leaders and hipos? Mostly high assertives.
Again, we have roles for low assertives and leaders can have that profile as well - you just need balanced teams.
But you need the Grayson Allens of the world to shake things up daily. When your equivalent does the version of the Grayson Allen trip inside your company, you've got to be swift and decisive to show them where the line is and ensure they don't cross it again - or as often.
You hate Duke. I get it. You think Grayson Allen is a punk - I get that too.
But you'd hire Grayson Allen in a heartbeat for a results-driven position. You'd just do better than Coach K about defining what's acceptable and what's not acceptable.