Grantland spent the last week hyping up its "Most Hated College Basketball Player" bracket, but let's face it: As soon as they announced a bracket was dedicated to Duke players only, this thing was doomed to be won by either Christian Laettner or J.J. Redick. And if you had stuck the villains on opposite sides of the map, they would be meeting each other in the final. Blue Devils like Laettner and J.J. conjure up a special kind of hate, a hate way more vicious than Tyler Hansbrough hate, and a hate that they pretty clearly thrived on during their times playing in the Dean Dome, the Comcast Center, and Reynolds Coliseum.
Redick admitted that much in an enjoyable interview with the site yesterday. The shooting guard—who, believe it or not, is a likeable pro's pro now—said that he was "sort of a prick" during his time at Duke. He went on to say that he totally understood where the hate came from.
[It was worst] at Maryland. That’s when there was still a rivalry there, dating back to the Miracle Minute and Maryland winning in 2002. It was pretty heated for my first couple years there.... I probably deserved [the heat.] I was sort of a prick.”
“I think I created this persona on the court to deal with the antics of the other crowd, to kind of combat that. It’s not who I was. It was never who I was. I look back on that, especially my first two years, and I probably deserved a lot of the animosity.”
If you care to think any more about why you hate J.J. Redick, and Duke as a whole, Foreign Policy of all outlets just wrote a really interesting analysis that compares Duke hatred with worldwide anti-Americanism. No, the mag didn't say, "If you hate Duke, you hate America." Just give it a read. It explains a lot.