The latest Grayson Allen trip has led to an indefinite suspension. As previously stated, this is probably the best thing for all parties involved, including Allen himself, and will hopefully lead to a change in behavior.
The similarities between Allen’s extracurricular footwork and the extracurricular footwork of Draymond Green are unavoidable. It’s also quite something that one of the best players in collegiate basketball and one of the best professional basketball players are seemingly addicted to putting their legs where they don’t belong.
Both go-to moves are dirty plays. And while Green’s high-flying kicks may pose more physical danger to defenders, they aren’t as downright dirty as Allen’s intentional trips. There is a practical purpose when Green does his best Rockette impression. He is seeking to draw a foul on his opponent. One can — and should — quibble with his methodology, but there’s some basketball-related reasons for doing it.
The same can’t be said for Allen. There is no personal or team advantage to be gained. The only thing accomplished is personal satisfaction and getting into further foul trouble. Sure, his soccer-style takedowns usually don’t pose a significant injury risk for the victim like Green’s karate-style kicks, but they are vastly more unnecessary.
To this point, Green has maintained the contact he initiates is accidental. And though most strongly disagree, one could see how he could rationalize it. He believes he needs the extra lift to maintain balance and protect himself. If a defender happens to come into that space, then so be it, they shouldn’t have been there. Allen has no excuse, no matter how flimsy, to fall back on. There is no sane reason to view what he’s doing as anything other than intentional and vengeful.
While learning from his own mistakes, Allen should also learn from Green’s. The Warriors forward is a cautionary tale of potentially dire consequences of habitual dirty play. His Game 5 suspension helped give the Cleveland Cavaliers new life and played a major role in Golden State blowing a 3-1 NBA Finals advantage.
Duke figures to be competing for a national title come spring. Keeping Allen on the court and with a cool head is of paramount importance. The suspension is as much about the future as it is the past. Will be be more receptive to change than Green has been? Time will tell.