Duke basketball freshmen send clear message to brutal fans

Duke basketball (Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball (Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports) /

Two Duke basketball rookies appear to be fed up with fairweather followers.

In the aftermath of a 70-65 loss at Louisville (10-3, 5-2 ACC) on Saturday, the increasingly harsh criticism coming from a portion of the Duke basketball fanbase must have bothered the unranked, flustered Blue Devils (5-5, 3-3 ACC).

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Whether they admit it or not, there’s no doubt many of the players pay attention to all the negativity across social media.

In a world that now seems to view Twitter as a daily necessity, how could they not notice the abundant insults, frustrations, and whatnot?

Well, late Sunday evening, two Duke freshmen looked as if they were firing back at their cruelest cynics. In an apparent attempt to devalue the flak from such so-called supporters, who have undeniably been spoiled by the unsurpassed success and top-notch talent in Durham over the past several decades, DJ Steward and Jalen Johnson admirably stood up for themselves.

Simple tweets from the young Duke basketball duo

First, combo guard DJ Steward — averaging 13.1 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 1.3 steals but shooting only 30.4 percent from deep — led the way with what came across as a mature message. The former five-star prep, aptly nicknamed “GVO” due to his “Good Vibes Only” approach, seemed to temporarily expel haters from the fanbase yet finished on a positive note:

Judging from the overwhelmingly uplifting comments, Steward’s brief tweet roused a sense of togetherness and encouragement among the friendlier Duke basketball aficionados out there.

Roughly thirty minutes later, combo forward and former five-star Jalen Johnson — averaging 11.6 points, 7.4 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 1.7 blocks but committing 2.7 turnovers per game — chimed in with obvious approval of Steward’s sentiment:


Granted, as one could expect nowadays, there are a few rather nasty responses to these latest tweets from Steward and Johnson. No worries, for as Steward implied in his tweet, those folks aren’t true Duke basketball fans right now anyway.

In what should be an ideal opportunity to bounce back from a three-game road losing streak, the Blue Devils return home to face Georgia Tech (7-4, 3-2 ACC) at 9 p.m. Tuesday.

Good vibes only.

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