Grayson Allen already inspired plenty of hate among college basketball diehards and casual fans. As a McDonald's All-American freshman, it was perhaps unfair as he found a role on a Blue Devils national title team led by Quinn Cook and freshmen Jahlil Okafor, Justise Winslow and Tyus Jones.
Allen scored 16 points in the 2015 national title game against Wisconsin and looked like a promising future star.
On Wednesday night, a season and a half removed from that game, the hate crescendoed with a third tripping incident. It spawned a handful of different national conversations as Mike Krzyzewski and Duke sorted through what's now an "indefinite" suspension for the junior star.
One of those conversations is where Allen's place is now in a sometimes perplexing run of hateable Duke stars. His place in history is clear now.
1. Grayson Allen, 2014-present: Allen does all the things that grate on people about Duke players. Announcers laud his hustle after he t̶a̶k̶e̶s̶ c̶h̶a̶r̶g̶e̶s̶ flops (sometimes twice in the same play). He has been known to get very favorable treatment from officials, more than a few times. He's been spotted demonstratively whining when he does not get that treatment. Tripping has hardly been his most dangerous foul. In last year's NCAA Tournament, he said "Thanks, but no thanks" to Dillon Brooks of Oregon's awkward attempt at a postgame hug/handshake when the Ducks eliminated Duke. It also doesn't not help that he is a younger clone of Texas senator Ted Cruz, who through much of his presidential campaign, embraced how much he is disliked among his peers in Congress.
And like we mentioned earlier, the coup d'état are his now three instances of purposely tripping opponents. He endeared himself a bit by taking ownership of the first two in preseason interviews, but it rings hollow after Wednesday's incident. And the derisive glee with which much of America watched his sideline tantrum fueled by self-anger only cements it: No Duke player has ever been hated as much as Allen, and unlike some of the guys on this list, most of it is deserved.
2. Christian Laettner, 1988-92: His shot vs. Kentucky to send Duke to the 1992 Final Four resurfaces every year as one of the seminal moments in college basketball history. What doesn't resurface as often is Laettner stomping on Aminu Timberlake's chest in the very same game. Today, his shot still allows him to be ever-present in college basketball's signature month, and how many people have a documentary with their name and "hate" also in the title? That's special, even if Allen might get a sequel made in 20 years. He was the first Duke player to truly inspire hate from fans, serving as a foil for Michigan's beloved Fab Five for much of his career.
3. J.J. Redick, 2002-06: There might not be a player on this list who fed off the hate more than Redick. He's one of the best shooters in NCAA history, and when he hit big shots, he loved to egg on opposing fans. And with a smirk that only intensified that hurt. Redick never logged the cheap shots that made some of the hate deserved, but even Coach K said Redick got more hate from fans than anyone before him. Sure, some of that was because he was so good. Especially at Maryland, where Redick loved to stoke the especially raging fires. Years later, he admitted he deserved it.
"I was sort of a prick," he said.
4. Greg Paulus, 2005-09: Paulus wasn't the outstanding player that the first three were on the list, but it seems odd that he inspired so much hate when his career signature is getting run over. It earned him easily the most R-rated nickname of any Duke player on this list, which locked its place in history with a child-unfriendly chant at Virginia Tech. The moment that inspired the nickname was infamous enough to land Paulus a gigantic spot on the wall of the Hokies' practice facility. Paulus had the most interesting post-Duke career of anyone on this list, too. He left and became Syracuse's starting quarterback and had brief hope of making an NFL roster.
5. Steve Wojciechowski, 1994-98: Pour one out for all the busted blood vessels in Wojo's hands from a career spent slapping the floor. Many have done it at Duke and still do. Some schools like Miami and West Virginia have done it to troll the Blue Devils in games against Duke. Still, nobody made it their signature more than Wojo. In one of his most infamous, obnoxious incidents, he went from possibly needing corrective spinal surgery to 100 percent in just seconds. That's good acting. Still, call the Wojo hate projection by many of his haters. In him, too many people saw the untalented coach's son who played ahead of them in junior high and high school and projected their own frustration onto a mostly harmless player who was very average in college. Still, that's not to say he wasn't necessarily the son Coach K wished he had. Wojo went from player in 1998 to assistant coach in 1999 and shared the bench with Krzyzewski in Durham until taking the Marquette head coaching job 15 years later in 2014.
6. Gerald Henderson, 2006-09: He's the lone high-flyer on this list, but he also provided one of the signature moments in an always contentious rivalry with UNC. Tyler Hansbrough is more hated than all but one or two of the guys on this list, but Henderson drew blood with a vicious, dirty elbow in the final seconds of a decisive UNC victory in Chapel Hill. If Henderson played for anyone else, he might have been cast a hero for delivering the blow to Hansbrough. But ... he doesn't. Welcome to life as a Duke basketball player.
7. Chris Collins, 1993-96: Collins played an annoying brand of flopping, charge-taking basketball, but he played in an era when the Duke hate was still simmering, below the boil that's become commonplace in the past decade-plus. Flopping is one thing. Selling a charge before contact even happens is another.
8. Jon Scheyer, 2006-10: Scheyer was Redick Lite when it came to shooting, but he spent a career perfecting what came to be known as "Scheyer Face." A Google image search of the term will produce hours of entertainment. I consider this his Mona Lisa. Scheyer was a talent who helped Duke win a national title and wasn't the serial flopper of others on this list, but man, those facial expressions. Basketball has never seen anything like it and may never again.
Honorable mention (a.k.a., guys who were hated but didn't do enough to truly deserve it): Kyle Singler, Cherokee Parks, Shane Battier, Mike Dunleavy Jr.