The morning after Duke defeated Butler to win the NCAA championship, ESPN personality, Dick Vitale was on television ranting and raving as usual. I honestly started to ignore everything that he was saying, until I heard him say that he was puzzled about the amount of dislike that seemed to be directed towards Duke University. In his mind, Duke played the right way, went to class and excelled, succeeded after college and he attributed most, if not all of that to Coach Mike Krzyzewski.
After Vitale went on his rant, I sat there and wondered how and where this dislike for Duke originated with most people. I know that my own personal dislike for them, stemmed from the 1991 National Semifinal game, when Duke defeated UNLV (my favorite team at the time), 79-77. Just a year earlier, UNLV crushed Duke 101-71, and that 30 point drubbing still represents the largest margin of victory ever in an NCAA final. I wasn’t sure how Duke was able to win just one year after being humiliated, but I was not at all happy about it, and a legitimate dislike for Duke was born.
But I am only one man, and the dislike for Duke seems to be much bigger than just me, so I still needed some answers. I decided to seek out two players from the Washington Wizards and one from the Golden State Warriors, who had direct and indirect ties to Duke.
First, I talked to Wizards forward Al Thornton, who attended Florida State University, and played against Duke for four years. Then, I briefly talked to Warriors forward Corey Maggette who attended Duke for one year during the 1998-99 season. And finally, I talked with Wizards guard Shaun Livingston, who accepted a scholarship to attend Duke in 2004, before opting to head directly to the NBA. All three men gave their perspective on Duke, and why they are so disliked.