Duke basketball alum Grayson Allen gets booed by his own team

Former Duke basketball guard Grayson Allen (David Banks-USA TODAY Sports)
Former Duke basketball guard Grayson Allen (David Banks-USA TODAY Sports) /

Maybe even Duke basketball faithful should start booing Grayson Allen.

Sure, Grayson Allen grew accustomed to hearing boos as a four-year Duke basketball villain. His ultra-intense playing style, frequent tripping incidents, and devilish smirk never failed in irking opposing fans.

But the boos never came from his teammates. They are now, though. And the odd tactic is working to perfection.

As a critical reserve for the Milwaukee Bucks against the Chicago Bulls, Allen heated up to the tune of 27 points on 10-for-12 shooting, including 6-for-7 from downtown, in his team’s 119-95 Game 4 road win on Sunday afternoon to return to Milwaukee with a 3-1 series lead.

Allen confirmed to the media afterward that he’s drawn inspiration from his teammates’ chorus of boos on and off the court:

“Walk on the bus, boo. In the hotel, boo. About to watch film, boo. It’s all the time…I think it’s funny. I think it’s honestly hilarious. They kind of turned it into a fun thing. It makes hearing it out there during the game a lot easier, too, because they think it’s so funny.”

As Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune detailed on Sunday evening, the Chicago patrons probably haven’t done their team any favors by directing so much ill will — even if justified — toward Allen:

“And Bulls fans can partially blame themselves for Allen’s sizzling shooting. After they loudly booed him on March 4 at the United Center in response to Allen’s flagrant foul on Alex Caruso in a Jan. 21 game that sidelined the Bulls guard with a fractured wrist, Bucks players began booing Allen in practice as an inside joke. Suddenly a tradition was born.”

It sounds as if Milwaukee star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo gives his seal of approval:

“Someone showed me a picture when he had the and-one in Game 3, and the whole bench was booing him. And I thought it was really funny. I thought he got to take that picture and frame it…Maybe we gotta boo him even more. Maybe Milwaukee fans gotta boo him…”

A historic shooting stretch from the Duke basketball product

On Friday night in Game 3, Grayson Allen scored 22 points in Chicago, shooting 5-for-7 from 3-point land, to help fuel the Bucks to a 111-81 victory.

Add that to his performance two nights later. Now, the former No. 21 overall draft pick is the first Milwaukee player in history to record at least five made 3-pointers in back-to-back playoff games. Also, according to ESPN Stats & Info, Allen joined Danny Green as the only two players to ever sink five 3-pointers in consecutive playoff games while hitting better than 70 percent each time out.

During the regular season, Grayson Allen averaged a career-high 11.5 points per game, starting all but five of his 66 appearances. Thus far in this postseason, the fourth-year pro has averaged 13.0 points in 23.3 minutes per game while shooting an insane 61.1 percent beyond the arc.

The Bucks and Bulls square off in Game 5 on Wednesday.

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