I Hate Christian Laettner
What it's about: One of history's greatest college basketball players, Christian Laettner, is also one of the sport's most despised figures. He led Duke (also pretty despised) to four Final Fours and two championships during his time at the university, and somehow elevated his game on the biggest stages. His famous buzzer beater against Kentucky in 1992, capping a perfect 10-for-10 performance, is ingrained in the sports consciousness, but many feel he shouldn't have been in the game after stomping on a rival’s chest earlier in the evening. Laettner proves that the line between hero and villain can be very, very thin.
What it's really about: Schadenfreude. Laettner was handsome, white, and confident. He was a gifted athlete who went to an elite Southern school, he crushed the hopes of opponents at nearly every turn, and he always seemed to get a pass when things didn't go his way. It doesn’t matter that he grew up blue-collar and worked as a janitor to help pay his way through high school, or that his success was a product of his efforts in the gym. People wanted him to fail and relished his mediocrity in the NBA (if you can call 13 seasons and more than 11,000 points mediocre). But his was a life and a career earned, not given. He just did it his way. So who's the real asshole here?Back to top