Grayson Allen knows he’s not universally liked.
The Duke Blue Devils guard has caught a ton of heat for a pair of tripping incidents in his sophomore and junior seasons.
In February of last year, Allen appeared to deliberately trip Florida State’s Xavier Rathan-Mayes in the closing seconds of a Duke victory.
Allen received a reprimand from the ACC for the incident, but the severity of his next offense was much worse. Last season in a game against Elon, Allen appeared to trip an opposing player once again, which prompted Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski to suspend Allen for one game and strip him of his captaincy.
Allen was heavily criticized for his second trip, but it was his outburst on the bench afterward that really captivated the nation.
Now, Allen is set to embark on his senior season, with Duke primed to be one of the strongest teams in the country once again. In an interview with ESPN’s Jeff Goodman, Allen touched on his past and explained what caused the now-infamous tantrum.
Here’s a transcript of the interview, per ForTheWin:
“I know there’s half the basketball world that thinks I’m this hothead, dirty player who can’t get anything under control, and who probably thinks I’m extremely arrogant. A selfish guy.
…. I didn’t watch it. I’m being honest, I didn’t watch it. I knew what had happened. I knew that everyone wasn’t going to understand why I was mad on the bench. I know a lot of people thought I was mad about a foul call, or something like that.
I knew I fouled the guy. I was mad about everything else I knew was going to happen…. A storm. A media storm. I knew I messed up again, and that’s a stain on my character and reputation, something that I didn’t want. I felt bad about it.”
Allen might not ever be able to get back into the good graces of some college basketball fans, but a strong senior campaign and a deep NCAA Tournament run wouldn’t hurt his cause.
Thumbnail photo via Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Sports Images