Grayson Allen And The “Scrappiness” That Only Jazz Fans Love

    Grayson Allen is on his Bill Laimbeer/Draymond Green type flow early on in his NBA career. Already establishing himself as the great antagonist during Summer League play and giving fans a glimpse into how a white boy in the NBA keeps his edge in a league dominated by African-American males.

    Allen and sharp-shooter Trae Young mixed it up a bit during a Summer League game on Thursday night. Young, the Atlanta Hawks first-round pick, came off a screen to take a shot and Allen was all up in his shirt with defensive aggression and his usual nasty disposition. Then they got tangled and Allen attempted a header to the gut just to let it be known he’s got screws loose. 

    SportsCenter on Twitter

    Grayson Allen got into a scuffle with Trae Young in Summer League. https://t.co/VWuoLisnRN

    As a white NBA baller you have to be ready to scrape and scrap for everything. In a league where dudes might sleep on you because of their bias towards players of non-color —  and the fact that the NBA just doesnt produce homegrown, American white basketball players anymore, — establishing your presence early is important. 

    The Angriest Larry Bird ever: fight with Bill Laimbeer – 1987 Playoffs Game 3

    Through 3 first games of 1987 Eastern Conference Finals Bad Boys played very physical defense on Larry Bird and he made just 39% of his field goals attempts. In second half of game three, after cheap shots from Laimbeer, Bird had enough and exploded with rage rarely seen from cold blood killer like him.

     

    Man you dont mess with…Danny Ainge!

    Larry Bird said Danny Ainge is the best all around player he ever knew.

    This is who Grayson Allen is. The same guy he was at Duke. Hes going to play the villain and hes going to play the role to an Oscar. The older heads are going to love him. Hes got some old school, IDGAF fire in him. Hes not backing down from anyone, his confidence is always at 1,000 and he carries a chip on his shoulder bigger than the ratings for the Power premier. 

    In 2016, our own Ricardo Hazell said Allen Is White Privilege In A Basketball Uniform, because Grayson accumulated a litany of unsportsmanlike violations, including four separate tripping incidents involving opposing players and missed very little court time for his infractions. Some felt he was babied at Duke, maybe even allowed to be more physical and obnoxious than his black teammates, because he was white. 

    Grayson Allen Dirty Plays and Moments Compilation

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    Wrote Hazell in his 2018 piece, Duke’s Grayson Allen Ain’t Wildin!, in which he commends the player for exhibiting some newfound leadership and maturity in his senior season at Duke: 

    For the past three years, Grayson Allen was depicted as a poster boy for white privilege in the mind of this writer. His unsportsmanlike and dangerous antics are now a matter of public record, as was the flimsy punishment of 1 game despite being a repeat offender. I can only imagine what disparaging, disrespectful and downright racist remarks would be said about the upbringing of a black player if he exhibited Allen’s behavior.    

    Thursday night’s Summer League action was the first Allen taste test and Trae Young was the first soft drink selected. 

    Obstructedviewer on Twitter

    Welp, looks like Grayson Allen wants to be that dirty, get-in-your-head player in the NBA. Some things never change. #nba

    Even in the NBA, its clear that hooliganism will be a part of Allens game. Hell probably serve as Donovan Mitchells personal protector. If you give Donovan too much body on one play, Allen might find an elbow to your dome on the next. Opposing fans and players are going to hate him, but the love he will get from the city of Utah and the grit and attention his antics will bring to a low pro franchise like the Jazz, will probably make him one of the more popular players in the league. 

    JR Gamble joined The Shadow League in 2012. The General Manager of Content & Social Media is in his 25th year of covering sports and culture professionally. He has covered a wide variety of major sports and entertainment topics across different mediums, including radio, newspapers, magazines and national TV. His passion is baseball, the culturing of baseball and preserving and documenting the historically-impactful accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans in baseball.