Duke basketball: The 10 most hated Blue Devils of all time

Duke basketball guard Grayson Allen (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Duke basketball guard Grayson Allen (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /
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Duke basketball
Duke basketball legend Christian Laettner (Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images) /

The most hated Duke basketball faces: Christian Laettner

Center. 1988-92. 2. player. Pick Analysis. Christian Laettner. 434. Scouting Report

Not only was Christian Laettner extremely arrogant, but he was also extremely prideful about his arrogance. He’s even seemed to partially credit this part of his personality for the Duke basketball program capturing its first two crowns. The so-called “entitled one” certainly doesn’t appear to mind that ESPN made an entire documentary entitled I hate Christian Laettner:

Granted, Laettner thrived as a college player due in large part to his size, his mobility, his awareness, and his soft touch from all distances, which all made him an incredibly efficient scorer. In fact, as a senior, in addition to shooting an impressive 58.0 percent inside the arc, he led the NCAA with a remarkable 55.7 percentage from 3-point land (54-for-97).

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But perhaps Laettner’s strongest weapon was the mind games he played with opponents before crushing their spirits via countless clutch shots, including two of the most well-known March Madness splashes of all time.

First, as a sophomore, Laettner maddened UConn’s players, coaches, and fans by draining a game-winning buzzer-beater to send the Blue Devils to a third consecutive Final Four.

Two years later, as a defending national champ but facing a one-point deficit in the Elite Eight with only 2.1 ticks remaining, Laettner permanently etched his face into Kentucky nightmares. He had capped off his perfect shooting night — 10-for-10 from the field and 10-for-10 from the foul line — by owning the most-watched Big Dance replay of all time:

Adding to the hate ever since from Big Blue Nation was his mind-games stomp to the stomach of Wildcat big man Aminu Timberlake. Some 20 years later, in Laettner fashion, after agreeing to coach the UK Villains against the UK All-Stars in Rupp Arena, he played to the hate with a perfect smirk on his face while wiping the floor at the spots on the court of both his shot and stomp:

Gotta love him…unless, that is, you don’t, in which case you gotta hate him. There is no in-between. And the same goes for the only Blue Devil who could ever surpass the sheer level of hate that Laettner gladly welcomes…