Grayson Allen has a problem. He can’t stop intentionally tripping opponents. He did it again tonight against Elon, earning a technical foul.
— FanSportsClips (@FanSportsClips) December 21, 2016
Allen is a spectacular basketball player. A spectacular basketball player with a problem. It is a problem of his own making and remaking. If he wants the problem to go away, the solution is simple.
Stop intentionally tripping opponents.
It’s become abundantly clear that he needs help kicking his kicking habit. He’s had multiple opportunities to learn from his mistakes and adjust his behavior. It’s time some external pressure was applied.
What he’s doing has no place in the game. But, for a moment, strip away the sportsmanship concerns and look at the way he’s hurting his team. Every time he trips an opponent, he opens himself up to racking up two fouls (a personal and technical) and jeopardizes his ability to be on the court. Every time he trips an opponent, he’s opening himself up for retaliation. It’s only a matter of time until payback is delivered when Allen is most vulnerable.
Look at Allen’s meltdown after tonight’s incident.
It’s difficult to understand what he’s so upset about. He’s not being unfairly persecuted. We’re all privy to the hard evidence proving his dirty play. There is one person responsible for this mess and it’s Allen himself.
Coach Mike Krzyzewski is playing with fire here. His team leader cannot be conducting himself like this on the bench. He can’t continue to put himself and the team in jeopardy.
Allen’s antics have been known for a long time. Each one is noted because he is a star player at Duke and intense scrutiny comes with the territory. Great privilege carries great visibility. The repeated tripping incidents are national news because of his place in the college basketball foodchain.
Thus far, Coach K has let it slide. He should strongly consider changing course.
Allen is only going to curtail his behavior with external pressure. A suspension — and a real one — is the only thing that will do that. Coach K would send a strong message to both his star and the outside world by making Allen watch the first ACC games from the bench.
It’d be a proactive move aimed at thwarting a major meltdown in a major moment. Duke should be able to beat Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech and Boston College without Allen. They may not be able to beat the scheduled opponents the next time he pulls his patented stunt.
Allen needs help with his problem. The solution seems plainly obvious to everyone but him.
He’s had three or four strikes already. Time to sit out. And chill out.