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With Alex Caruso on the floor, assisted by doctors and his Chicago teammates after the heavy blow, the Bucks point guard, Grayson Allen took on the role of villain with no problem.. He beat his chest as if acknowledging: “My fault.” So many times you’ve been through that same situation… why not just accept it? His opponent was sprinting for a touchdown at the highest point of his jump when Allen destabilized him. He hooked it with his left hand, but if that wasn’t enough, he threw hard, right hand too. He shot it down mercilessly. In the sudden fall, Caruso tried to cushion the blow with his right hand, which broke. Now he has to undergo surgery and will be out for two months.

Can anyone suppose that it was a gambling action, without bad intention? What if it was just some bad luck? Allen did not even approach his rival to inquire about his status. He did not apologize or go to greet him after the game. Those were other reasons that angered the members of the Chicago Bulls. He was charged with a “grade 2” flagrant foul. A brief regulatory clarification is worth. The flagrant infraction of “grade 1″ is an action of excessive violence, but without intention (which in FIBA ​​basketball is considered unsportsmanlike): the player can continue on the court. In the “grade 2″, the referees interpret that the aggression was intentional, so the player is expelled, which happened with Allen.

Grayson Allen’s assault on Caruso

The American media, which are also often very interested in these stories of good guys and bad guys, heroes and villains, do not hesitate when they rate Allen. They mention it as “the dirtiest player in the NBA” and how “the most hated of the United States”.

Hardly anyone hesitates to accuse Allen. Caruso, the victim on this occasion, was tough on him. “The guy grabbed me out of the air. That foul was bullshit. I don’t know what else can be done about it. I’m glad I didn’t have any major injuries,” he lamented.

The moment when Grayson Allen punches Alex Caruso
The moment when Grayson Allen punches Alex Caruso Morry Gash – AP

Bulls coach Billy Donovan went further. “For Alex to be in the air and him take him down like that, it’s something that could have ended his career. Has a history of this. That for me was really dangerous. I hope the league takes notice of something like that because that could have hurt him very, very seriously.”

With five national titles, Duke University is one of the winningest in NCAA history in the United States. And his five victories were obtained in the last 30 years, which speaks of a consolidated and successful basketball program.

However, its position as an institution of high society and certain fame of “hard game”, has aroused rejection among the rest of the basketball supporters. At this point in the story, it’s clear that Allen did his formative days… at Duke. The Blue Devils (blue devils).

Since his university career at Duke, Grayson Allen accepts his role as a villain
Since his university career at Duke, Grayson Allen accepts his role as a villain

Three decades ago, a player who is considered one of the best in college basketball history held a similar regard to Allen. So much so that a documentary was even made entitled: “I hate Christian Laettner”. History repeats itself.

And Laettner himself once came out in his defense: “Poor Grayson. I hope they don’t do what they did to me. It’s not nice, it’s not fun and it’s a little unfair”.

In 1992, Laettner stepped on a fallen opponent in the chest. The referees sanctioned the foul, but did not send him off. The game continued and the “villain” was the figure in Duke’s victory over Kentucky. His presence was so decisive that, as a symbol of transition, USA Basketball included him in the first Dream Team in history, with the arrival of the NBA to the United States team. At Barcelona 92 ​​there were 11 superstars (among them Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley and Magic Johnson)… and Laettner, who later did not have a very outstanding professional career.

Grayson Allen is having a very good season with Milwaukee;  until the time of the incident with Caruso, he had not had any disciplinary problems this year
Grayson Allen is having a very good season with Milwaukee; until the time of the incident with Caruso, he had not had any disciplinary problems this yearStacy Revere – GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA

In his college career, Allen was accused on multiple occasions of kicking his rivals. In the first cases they were imperceptible actions. But over time, everyone began to detect a pattern of behavior. And what some could consider something casual, suddenly began to be seen as a devious blow. So much so that YouTube compilations of his plays were made. The NCAA ended up suspending him for several games for his foul play and he lost the captaincy of his team.

Grayson Allen and his trips with Duke

But Allen is also a talented player. He was NCAA champion in 2015. In his last three college years he averaged 17.3 points and 4 assists per game. His tenacity in driving, determination and fierce defense completed a combo that made him attractive to NBA teams, beyond the uncomfortable comments about his behavior. In 2018 he was selected in 21st place in the Draft by Utah.

In the Summer League of that year, in which the rookies begin to get into rhythm with their teams, the letter of introduction was… with a fight. He had to be face to face with what was considered one of the best prospects of that year, Trae Young, from Atlanta. In a somewhat rough play, he hooked his arm and his rival reacted annoyed. It did not seem to be a dirty move, but his “record” conditions it… Young’s teammates they exploded and they pounced on him, who barely managed to raise his arms as a sign of not being interested in the fight.

Allen’s cover letter in the NBA Summer League

A year later he moved to Memphis and, again against Trae Young, was seen throwing his left leg improperly. Every detail of yours is reviewed with great precision. That year he achieved a record, being ejected after committing two flagrant fouls (grade 1) in eight seconds.

Allen has been in the NBA for four years now. This season he came to the Milwaukee Bucks and with good averages of 11.8 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.3 assists, his work focused more on the game than on dirty deeds. He had a brush with Derrick Rose in one of the first games, but nothing serious. Now he hurt Caruso and his rivals (and the press), they did not hesitate to throw the whole weight of his past on him. The NBA has not yet decided on his sanction. Regardless of what is decided, Allen knows what role he has to play. And he has no problem being the bad guy in this movie.

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