Grayson Allen and Wisconsin basketball fans have had a rocky relationship. The 2014-15 Badgers men’s basketball team had a magical ride. They defeated the previously undefeated Kentucky team in the Final Four to go to the National Championship. It felt like this was the team that could really pull it off and bring the title to Madison.
Then Duke happened. Or more specifically, Grayson Allen happened.
Allen, a freshman, was a role player for the Blue Devils but wasn’t necessarily one of the big-time players. A lot of Wisconsin fans didn’t even know who he was until the National Championship game. Unfortunately for those fans, Grayson Allen was a player that would be in their minds for the next few years.
In a tightly contested game, Allen was clutch for the Blue Devils, hitting a lot of timely shots against the Badgers, who couldn’t seem to stop the freshman guard. Allen scored 16 points against the Badgers. His play in the second half of the game led many Badger fans to curse his name and have negative thoughts and feelings towards him from then on.
It wasn’t long until plenty of other college basketball fans felt the same way. Grayson Allen became a popular name in college basketball the following season. Aside from being a Duke player, which already made him unlikeable to many hoops fans, he began garnering a reputation as a bit of a dirty player.
There are multiple instances where he was accused of playing dirty, including tripping opponents. In fact, there is a 2-minute tripping compilation on YouTube showing some of those instances.
Luckily, the Badgers never had to face Allen again. Once he left for the NBA, I’m sure many Badger fans were able to put Grayson Allen out of their minds.
Until the Bucks traded for him.
Assuming many Wisconsin basketball fans are also Milwaukee Bucks fans, I’m guessing there was a good part of the Bucks’ fanbase that wasn’t thrilled with the acquisition of Grayson Allen.
Granted, the Bucks are looking to reload and run it back after an NBA Championship, and Allen had some good stats last season for a role player. For the Memphis Grizzlies, Allen averaged 10.6 points per game, 3.2 rebounds, and 2.2 assists per game. He also shot 39% from three, which is where the Bucks will look to get some production out of him next season.
Looking at this completely as a Bucks fan and an unbiased Wisconsin fan, this is a good trade for the Bucks. As a Badger fan, I hate it.
I am conflicted. And I’m sure I am not the only Wisconsin fan out there who feels this way.
We can be excited about the Bucks, but we don’t have to like every player on the team. Grayson Allen is going to have some making up to do before he is in any Wisconsin fan’s good graces.