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 Danny Ferry (Getty Images) /

The most hated Duke basketball faces: Danny Ferry

Pick Analysis. Forward. 1985-89. Danny Ferry. 9. Scouting Report. player. 434

The No. 1 high school recruit in 1985 didn’t make any friends in Chapel Hill by picking Duke over perceived frontrunner North Carolina. One of my Duke-grad dad’s favorite memories to recount is the time he listened on the radio as one of the many Tar Heel-friendly recruiting gurus at the time had to sheepishly inform listeners that his Ferry-to-UNC prediction was dead wrong.

By the end of Ferry’s college career, after becoming the first Blue Devil since the 1960s to beat UNC five times — including a three-game season sweep in 1987-88 — he’d become Public Enemy No. 1 eight miles down Tobacco Road.

Nationally, the son of then-Washington Bullets general manager Bob Ferry came across to some as a conceited silver-spoon recipient. However, the childhood memories that I hold dear of my first Blue Devil hero — I was six during the 1987-88 season when I first chose Duke basketball games over Scooby-Doo reruns — tell a different story.

I remember watching Ferry talk to some uninformed reporter following a brilliant performance. After the reporter disrespected the All-American by mistakenly addressing him as “Donny Ferry” during the interview, I asked my old man why Danny Ferry didn’t correct him. That’s when Dad explained to me the one word that best describes what Ferry was actually all about: “Humility.”

Nevertheless, by the time Ferry had made three Final Four appearances and won the 1989 Naismith Award, he’d become the epitome of a hated Dukie. In other words, though he no longer warrants the top spot here, his reviled success no doubt set for the stage for those to come…