Grayson Allen had the honor of playing college basketball for Mike Krzyzewski, one of the best coaches in the history of the sport, at Duke, which is one of the top basketball schools in the NCAA.
During his collegiate career, Allen was a controversial player. He became known as a bit of a cheap shot artist, committing a lot of intentional fouls and exhibiting other types of absurd behavior.
He’s now 23 years old with a full season of NBA experience under his belt, so you might think he’d mature and be less of a goon. But that’s apparently not the case.
Grayson Allen’s controversial time at Duke
Grayson Allen was a nondescript player in his freshman year at Duke. He didn’t get any starts and averaged fewer than 10 minutes per game.
In his sophomore season, though, he started to become well-known among college basketball fans. Part of that was because of how well he was playing — he averaged 21.6 points per game that season — but it was also because that was when he started to get known for his rough play. It began with a game against Louisville on February 8. He was assessed a flagrant-one for tripping Ray Spalding in a play that the announcers said looked to be intentional.
The height of his controversy came in his junior year when Coach K suspended Allen “indefinitely” after he received a technical foul for another tripping violation, this time against Elon. That suspension lasted a couple of weeks. However, because it was over the Christmas break, Allen missed just one game.
Rookie season in the NBA
The Jazz took Allen with the 21st overall pick in the 2018 NBA draft. He spent much of his rookie season yo-yoing between the Jazz and their G-League team, the Salt Lake City Stars.
Allen ended up playing 38 games with the Stars, but he started just two games and averaged 10.9 minutes per game. It was an uneventful season for the one-time NCAA champion, who averaged 5.6 points per game. During the subsequent offseason, the Jazz traded Allen and three other players to the Grizzlies for Mike Conley and a 2020 first-round draft pick.
Summer League controversies
Allen has brought some notoriety to the NBA’s Summer League for the second straight year. In 2018, he got into a tussle with Trae Young after Allen made an overly aggressive defensive play on Young.
In 2019, the controversy came after Allen was ejected for being charged with two flagrant fouls in just eight seconds of game time, which included taking a swipe at Celtics rookie Grant Williams, who shrugged it off because things are different where he grew up in Charlotte.
Grayson Allen isn’t changing his controversial ways
In college, people may have given Grayson Allen a pass for the way he played the game because he was a young college student who may not have been as mature as people would have liked him to do.
Now that he’s in the NBA and making millions of dollars, Allen may have been expected to grow up and play the game the right away, as professionals should do. But his latest incidents in the Summer League the last two seasons make it appear as though he has not learned anything from his past behavior. He isn’t changing the way he acts or plays basketball.
He will continue to play dirty and potentially hurt opponents. Allen may want to watch out, though. Eventually, other players in the NBA may start to get revenge against him and play him dirty.