The Duke Blue Devils are one of the most polarizing teams in college basketball. It will be difficult for you to find a person who is neutral towards him or her, whether you love him or have him or her.
Whatever you think of them, no one can deny that they have made great strides in basketball and that head coach Mike Krzyszewski (aka Coach K) and his predecessors have brought a lot of talent to the NBA.
They have dominated the NCAA since 1985, but let’s look at some of the best former Duke players who made it in the NBA.
Brandon Ingram – small forward
Ingram had made comparisons with Kevin Durant in the past because of his looks, but in his early years in the championship he couldn’t stand those comparisons, even though he was second overall in the NBA.
He wasn’t bad for a long time, but many expected more from him. After the Lakers traded him to Anthony Davis as part of his forfeiture, Ingram finally found an environment where he could show his full potential. He is still in good shape as he played his first game for the All Stars in his first season with the Pelican.
Jason Tatum – Small forward
The 76ers are not the first basketball team to lose to Danny Anger, but it is unlikely that they will find any consolation after facing the number one choice in the 2017 design and taking advantage of that choice in Fultz.
The 76’s traded Fultz for an exit and many described him as bankrupt, while Tatum flourished with the solid Boston Celtics team and became a legal superstar in the league. Given everything he’s achieved at such a young age, it’s safe to say that Tatum will soon be in the top ten of the league.
Kiri Irving – Bodyguard
Kiri Irving, now known as one of the smartest ball leaders in the NBA, was brought to the top, even though he missed most of his lonely season at Duke due to a toe injury.
His performance included several All-Star selections, and he was an integral part of the 2016 Championship in Cleveland, where his last three curry shots remain one of the most iconic shots in the history of the final.
Since then he has had a lot of injury problems and his run with the Celtics has been a bad experience, but his current team, the Brooklyn Nets, can do Irving and Durant a lot of good.
J.J. Reddick – Gunner
J.J. Reddick was known as an offensive force during his time at Duke, and he had a reputation as a great three-point shooter and freebooter. Shooting is a skill that usually translates very well in the NBA, but it took Reddick a while to find his shot.
His first seasons in the NBA were unsuccessful because he was not really effective as a threat to the floor. Luckily for him he bounced back and started taking pictures that people remember from his time at Duke. Today it is one of the deadliest secretions in the NBA, and its services are in great demand.
Louol Dan – small forward
A picture of Luol Dan should be next to the word order in the dictionary, because that word perfectly describes his career in both the university and the NBA.
Dan was never a top superstar and only had two stars, but he was a player you could always count on to deliver good products and take care of your business in every situation. This earned him the respect of his teammates and the admiration of the fans and the competition agencies.
Deng quit basketball last year, and it’s a pity that his excellent NBA career didn’t lead to at least one championship.
Grant Hill – Small Advance
One of the greatest varsity basketball players of all time and one of the biggest in the history of the NBA – those are two ways to describe Grant Hill. He spent four years at the Duke’s where he led them to two consecutive national titles. In the Sports Illustrated segment, Coach K. honored him and Christian Lattner as the best Blue Devils in history.
When he started in the NBA, many people called him the next Michael Jordan because he was so ridiculously good. Hill has been a seven-time star, but his career has been marked by constant injuries. These traumas prevented him from developing his true potential to become Jordan’s successor, as many people think he could have been. He had a very good career in the NBA, but we will never know how much better it could have been.
Elton Marka – Front & Center Power
Falcons with sorcerers 30.11.13
He and the current 76-year-old grandmaster Elton Brand, formerly Duke’s, spent two years in the program before he decided to bring his talents to the NBA.
Brand had a long and successful career in the NBA, played for several teams and made the All-Star team twice, but he also suffered several serious injuries. One of these injuries, a dislocated shoulder that needed surgery, severely restricted his production and made him a shadow of his former dominant self.
The brand even left the NBA in 2015, but Coach K. was able to convince him to return to the NBA after only a few months. His return was more of a farewell tour with his 76 players, and he was the last to retire after the 2015/16 season. He was quickly hired as a consultant for the team and still works with them as General Manager.
Zion Williamson – forward force
Zion Williamson, the first choice in the 2019 NBA draft, has made more college appearances than most NBA players in his entire playing career.
He made comparisons with great men of all times, such as Jordan and Lebron James, and his impressive physical stamina and athletics, such as that of a linebacker, has been the subject of much discussion. Some wondered whether his weight was suitable for the NBA, as he is prone to injury or cannot participate in four 12-minute quarter-finals of the NBA.
Despite an injury start, Zion averaged an impressive 22.5 points per game in the first season of the New Orleans Pelicans in the NBA. However, only time will tell if Zion can make its mark on the NBA, as big as ever.