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Duke hate

I haven't paid any attention to the NCAA tournament since Duke lost (in typical fashion). But this post from LGM got me thinking about Duke hate again:

I am sure you are all rooting for Oregon against Michigan and its Trump voters. Regardless, we can all agree that it’s great that Duke and its seemingly endless supply of privileged white players lost.

Wait, so the implication is that Coach K shouldn't get good players if they're privileged and white because white men are too privileged by society? This argument would have merit if that's all he was doing, fielding a team full of mediocre white players because his team only serves to continue to further white male privilege. But the notion that this is even remotely what is happening is preposterous.

I legit struggle to think of white players that got significant playing time who were mediocre. Gregg Paulus comes to mind. That kid was shit and I think he was only there because this was the time where K was refusing to recruit one and dones. The rest of the white players that come to mind range from decent (Kyle Singler) to all time great (Redick).

I get the Duke hate in the sense that they're the Yankees of CBB. They win all the time (who would care if they weren't good). Because they win they're on tv all the time, which is annoying if they aren't your team. Because they're on tv all the time (and consistently get good ratings) they're forced to be talked about all the time, which is also annoying. And even for a fan this can be annoying when literally anything goes wrong with the team. Then you have to hear about negative stuff all the time when all you want to do is relax and take a break from the shit going on in the world.

But the angle of the Duke hate that draws on the white players is puzzling to me. The only way I get it is if you think fans latch onto them because of the white players. That's certainly possible, and maybe why they were put on tv a lot. I tend to think it's not a big portion of it. I think more casual fans are like me and got attached because they were on tv a lot and were winning a lot (bandwagoning, basically). I fully cop to that. I started watching when Trayjon Langdon was raining threes and Elton Brand was dominating in the post. And fully fell in love when Shane Battier and Jason Williams got them a title.

Maybe I’m being naive but I don’t get the sense Duke is some kind of Pepe thing where there’s a bunch of white dudes who love the team because they’re “white” in some sense. Of course, now that I’ve put that on the internet I’m sure some shitbag will see it and make it a thing on reddit or something. And in short order I’ll have to become a UNC fan or something

Update: Talked about this with my gf and there's certainly a racial aspect of who K recruits. He seems to recruit from a higher socioeconomic background than most, presumably because he wants more well adjusted kids he can handle/coach better. The racial part of that is obvious, in that racism has kept black people out of that higher socioeconomic tier. So even though K may not be actively racist, his criteria has the effect of pulling in more white guys than average.

And it's not like there aren't quality players that don't meat K's criteria. Many teams have good players and many teams other than Duke win. So he's not constrained when trying to find quality players. He's making an active choice. The issue is whether he's willing to risk losing a few more games while not taking advantage of society's racial constructs in order to provide more equality of opportunity. Or to just keep doing what's made him wildly successful, even if it doesn't do anything to try to change racism.

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