Everyone Hates Grayson Allen

Hoops fans already hated Duke star Grayson Allen—even before realizing he looks like Ted Cruz

(Photo Illustration: Diana Quach)
Mar 11, 2016 at 12:30 PM ET

Duke guard Grayson Allen has accepted the mantle as “the next hated white Duke player,” and that schadenfreude has a new twist as college basketballs fan realize that he bears a passing resemblance to a presidential candidate with many detractors.

Allen is a sophomore who led Duke with 21.6 points per game and was named one of five national finalists for the Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Award. He’s an objectively good basketball player whose subjective attributes—an overachiever playing for the Yankees of college basketball; aggressive and sometimes dirty playing style—make him despised by many.

There’s a lineage of Duke stars who have inspired outsized animosity—from Christian Laettner to Steve Wojciechowski, J.J. Redick, Greg Paulus, and now Allen—who, coincidentally or not, have all been white. Redick recently tried explaining the phenomenon as fans being “spoon-fed a narrative.”

Allen has done more than most to earn his title, however. Twice this year Allen has blatantly tripped an opponent, first against Louisville and then against Florida State. Then, in Wednesday’s ACC tournament game, he reached out to grab an N.C. State player and was whistled for a flagrant foul.

Allen finished the regular season with exactly 666 points, a fact that did not escape notice.

Not surprisingly, a fan of arch-rival UNC expressed the most intense vitriol.

When Duke lost on Thursday to Notre Dame, Allen was visibly emotional on the sideline, prompting many to revel in delight in his tears.

In all fairness, the tears did appear to be delicious.