Former Duke star Grayson Allen is easily the most polarizing player in this year's NBA Draft. Allen, who won a title with the Blue Devils during his freshman year, caught a great deal of flak during his sophomore and junior seasons for tripping opponents during games. This week at the NBA Combine, he's testing off the charts when it comes to his athleticism.
Thursday night, Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer dropped quotes from an interesting interview conducted with Allen regarding what he plans on telling coaches when they ask him about the tripping incidents.
In short, Allen is saying that his competitiveness is what led to the transgressions. He appears to be ready for NBA coaches during interviews to ask him about the matter.
“You have to address it, for sure. It’s something that comes from my competitiveness,” Allen said of the perception he was a dirty player at times over four Duke seasons. “Competitiveness that was pointed in the wrong direction and went over the line. It’s obviously something I needed to work on and address. It’s something I’ve gotten a lot better with.”
It’s a balance, he added: As in, don’t become so defined by your past that it turns you passive or self-conscious.
“It’s not something you want to put away. So you learn to use it for your team,” Allen said of being fiery. “That’s what I’ve been saying (in job interviews). I think the NBA likes competitive guys.”
It's true that NBA coaches like competitive players. But they don't like when players get chippy and wind up costing their team points. They also don't like when their players are suspended.
Allen, once thought to be a sure-fire first round pick, could wind up going in the second round after staying four years at Duke. He'll be one of the most scrutinized players in the NBA the second he steps on the court.