On Monday night, Duke freshman forward Jalen Johnson opted out of rest of the season. It was a controversial decision considering there are only a few weeks left in the regular season for the Blue Devils.
There were plenty of critics that commented on Johnson’s decision last night, as they were not pleased with him opting out this late in the season.
CBS analyst Seth Davis tweeted “Jalen Johnson played for three high schools in three years. He bolted from IMG Academy and took himself out of consideration for the McDonald’s game. So this is nothing new. Will be interesting to see how much of a concern that history is for NBA teams.”
Jay Williams, however, doesn’t agree with the narrative that Johnson has character issues. The former Duke star had an emphatic response to those criticizing Johnson on Tuesday morning.
“Jalen Johnson needs to do what’s best for Jalen Johnson. PERIOD,” Williams replied on Twitter when asked about the Duke freshman’s decision.
Jalen Johnson needs to do what’s best for Jalen Johnson. PERIOD. https://t.co/VxtDsCsrOT
— Jay Williams (@RealJayWilliams) February 16, 2021
Stadium’s Jeff Goodman reported that there have been “off-court issues” involving Johnson and his camp and Duke, but it’s unclear if that led to him opting out.
Johnson is projected to be a first-round pick in the 2021 NBA Draft. If he doesn’t want to risk a potential injury that could hurt his stock, it’s tough to blame him.
Make no mistake though, Johnson’s absence will hurt Duke’s chances of making the NCAA tournament.