Duke basketball: Awkward moment as coach forgets Blue Devil

Duke basketball (Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball (Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports) /

A Duke basketball name will play for a man who stumbles to recall the name.

Granted, Luke Kennard has yet to make a splash in his new city after the Detroit Pistons traded the former Duke basketball sharpshooter to the Los Angeles Clippers on draft night.

Nevertheless, seeing that Tyronn Lue is gearing up to debut as the franchise’s head coach when the Clippers open their 2020-21 regular season against the Los Angeles Lakers on Dec. 22, one might think the 43-year-old would be able to remember the name of the new shooting guard in town.

Nope. Think again.

When talking to media on Thursday — symbolically continuing a longheld Clipper tradition of not properly respecting its players — Lue appeared to forget Kennard’s name as he discussed the trade.

In what looks to be a comical attempt to buy time and seek help from someone nearby, Lue scratched his head, said “um” a few times, and then acted as if Zoom had gone haywire. Finally, the former Cleveland Cavaliers head coach, who will try to get the Clippers over the hump after their blown 3-1 lead in the Western Conference Semifinals, managed to come up with “Luke”:

Why the Duke basketball product is worth remembering

Luke Kennard is not the greatest professional Blue Devil right now. In fact, the 24-year-old, who is entering his fourth season in the league after going No. 12 overall to the Pistons at the 2017 NBA Draft following a prolific sophomore campaign in Durham, isn’t even among the five best Duke basketball players in the game these days.

ALSO READ: The 10 greatest NBA Blue Devils of all time

However, Kennard is quickly climbing the ranks. Last season, despite lacing ’em up only 28 times due to lingering knee tendinitis, the 6-foot-5, 205-pound Ohio native drew 25 starts, averaging a career-high 15.8 points, 4.1 assists, and 3.5 rebounds per game. Plus, “Cool Hand Luke” did so while shooting 39.9 percent from beyond the arc and 89.3 percent from the charity stripe.

Yes, Kennard is in the process of proving to all his critics, fans, and teammates — apparently not all coaches yet — that his game and name are worth remembering.

Trending. Rumors regarding Duke recruiting. light

Stay tuned to Ball Durham for more Duke basketball news and views.