Grayson Allen’s violent, emotional outbursts overshadowed a long and productive college career at Duke. As Allen tries to carve out a new role and new reputation in the NBA, he’s already falling victim to his own worse tendencies.
It turns out that Allen never learns his lesson.
The guard began his second NBA season with the Memphis Grizzlies by getting ejected from NBA Summer League in Las Vegas after consecutive flagrant fouls were called on him for striking Celtics rookie Grant Williams. Allen was tossed from the game after hitting Williams in the head on the second incident.
Allen is either brave or stupid, because Williams is the last player he should trying to mess with. Williams did more bench press reps than any player at the combine this year. Allen is lucky that Williams decided to laugh it off otherwise his reputation wouldn’t be the only thing hurting in the morning.
This pattern of behavior has followed Allen throughout his career. He doesn’t deserve the benefit of the doubt. He has proven to be impulsive and petulant and unable to keep his emotions in check on the court. At a certain point, he’s a safety threat to the players around him.
This isn’t an aberration or an isolated incident anymore. This is who Grayson Allen is.
Grayson Allen’s dirty plays at Duke
Allen was having a breakout sophomore season at Duke in 2016 when he was involved in his first tripping incident. During a February game against Louisville, Allen was caught tripping a Louisville player as he fell to the floor after a missed basket.
Allen would get busted again two weeks later, this time against Florida State. With Duke’s win clearly in hand in the final seconds of the game, Allen blatantly tripped a Seminoles player during an inbounds pass.
Allen’s dirty play had officially become a national talking point. He spent the offseason making television appearances and claiming he was a changed man. That made his next trip an even bigger story.
Duke was playing lowly Elon in the middle of Allen’s junior year when he was again caught tripping an opponent. Allen had an emotional outburst on the bench and was subsequently given an “indefinite” suspension by Duke that would last only one game.
Allen hasn’t had a clean slate in the NBA, either
Allen was taken No. 21 overall in the 2018 NBA Draft by the Utah Jazz. Almost immediately, he was involved in a scuffle with Trae Young during NBA Summer League. Allen would go on to appear in only 38 games as a rookie as he battled an ankle injury, averaging 5.8 points per game highlighted by a 40-point performance against the Clippers at the end of the season.
Allen is now on his second team in as many years after the trade to the Grizzlies. He couldn’t even get out of summer league without having another incident.
Allen’s dirty play was enabled by the lack of discipline at Duke. The NBA won’t be so patient. To this point in his career, Allen has proven to be little more than a goon. He’s running out of chances.