No. 2 Duke basketball player the rivals loved to hate the most: Grayson Allen
2018 NBA Draft: Round 1, Pick 21
Utah Jazz, 2018–2019
Memphis Grizzlies, 2019–2021
Milwaukee Bucks, 2021–present
Grayson Allen was the equivalent of a pro wrestling heel (see: bad guy) during his days in Durham, particularly breaking out as a villain during his sophomore season — which followed a national championship his freshman season due to his 16 points against Wisconsin in the title game.
Allen tripped Louisville forward Ray Spalding during Duke’s first matchup against Louisville during the 2015-16 season and would later trip Florida State guard Xavier Rathan-Mayes in another conference matchup. This issue resurfaced his junior year when Allen would trip Elon’s Steven Santa Ana, which resulted in a suspension and the stripping of the Jacksonville native’s captain duties. During the 2018 ACC tournament, he did it once more on UNC’s Garrison Brooks.
While most may remember the controversy he created, Allen should also be recognized for making an All-ACC team in two of his four seasons with the Blue Devils.
Allen is now in the NBA playing the villain role once more. Currently a key member of the Milwaukee Bucks, it’s possible Allen adds more hardware to his trophy collection playing for a franchise that won the championship the season prior to his arrival.