By Chris Grenham
Standing in front of a slew of reporters at the Celtics‘ practice facility, Grayson Allen smiled and laughed while talking about his time with Jayson Tatum at Duke. He spoke about how Tatum would “kill people” in one-on-one and two-on-two games, praising his ability back then and now. He was pleasant, intelligent, and confident in what he brings to the table. At the surface, you’d never guess that he was one of college basketball’s most hated players of the past four years.
When people talk about Grayson Allen, the conversation normally turns to how he’s a dirty player and a punk. The Duke guard had plenty of incidents while playing in the ACC and faced a large amount of scrutiny during his time there. He joins the long list of vilified Duke stars like Christian Laettner and JJ Redick, but unlike them, Allen seems very comfortable speaking about his reputation.
“I have to address the lows just as much as I have to address the highs. Talk about what I’ve done well and obviously the mistakes I’ve made,” Allen said. “I obviously have to talk about it and talk through it and say where it comes from and what I’m doing to improve my emotions on the court and stuff like that. But at the end of the day, I’m not getting rid of that, because teams want an emotional and competitive guy out...