I played basketball in high school. I wasn't great, but I was on a great team and I developed a huge love for the game. It was the one sport my mom would watch with me on TV (I was on my own with football. Nobody in my house watched but me and my bro...) March Madness was/is always a favorite time of the year...not only because it happens during THE MONTH OF MEL but because it was a bonding time for my me and my momma.
The year was 1992 and Christian Laettner was playing for Duke in the finals against Kentucky. It was a heated game. A close game. A very physical game...
I watched Duke a lot during the season. I never liked Laettner, I had seen some very poor sportsman-like behavior over the year--and I thought Coach K (who I'd always admired) should've been doing more to unswell Laettner's head and his attitude. But (as is with a lot of programs) if the player is great, then he can often get by with being an ugly sport.
Anyway, back to the finals. Laettner stomps on a Kentucky player that fell. It wasn't a rib-breaking stomp...it was more of a tap, BUT it was an intentional move that showed Laettner's true colors. Initially, Laettner denied it was an intentional move, but later he admitted he was getting Timberlake back for pushing him earlier in the game.
Now, I could've lived with the childish behavior if he had been dealt with properly. (he got a Technical foul in the game, as he should have, but honestly, Coach K should have punished him for being such a tool. He didn't.) And that's when I lost respect for Coach K and in the end, the entire Duke athletic program.
You wanna know why I think Laettner was never punished for his actions? Because in the last seconds of the game, he scored the winning shot. And we all know that nothing is more important than winning, right?
So yeah, I hate Duke. (but I still love all my friends who love them...)