Why is Christian Laettner is on the Hate List of The Duke's fans? Was it His Shot? Or Something Else?
25 years ago on this very month, the hearts of all Kentucky fans were left shattered when a certain someone named, Christian Laettner of the Dukes netted a buzzer beater to come out as victors in the 1992 East Regional final.
That was something the Kentucky fans would find hard to forget and thus, he might as well be on the list of hated personalities of the Kentucky fans. On March 28, 1992, he netted the shot to give the Duke Blue Devils a 104-103 victory over Kentucky in the finals of the East Regional at the Spectrum in Philadelphia.
It was at that very moment which made him even more famous than he was already, along with improved overall college stats. The video shows the shot that made him immortal as a Duke and a despised man for the Kentucky fans as he stomped past the Kentucky backline to clinch a thriller.
Caption: Laettner's buzzer beater versus Kentucky in the Eastern Finals in 1992 (Published on Jan 29, 2013)
Reliving the very historic moment, Grant Hill, the ex-Blue Devil who made the three-quarters court pass that set up Laettner’s final shot, said,
“It’s amazing that it’s been 25 years. It’s hard to believe that it has been that long.”
Moreover, Hill added,
“I think we get to relive it every year during March Madness. I think that keeps it in everybody’s mind, it’s sort of become one of the iconic moments that people associate with this tournament. It’s pretty cool to relive it every March.”
John Pelphrey, the ex-Kentucky Wildcat also commented,
“It does surprise me. Being in it, playing the game, you’re not really thinking about things like that. In hindsight, when you think of the coaches and the programs and the Final Four being on the line and the level of play, you can see why people still remember it.”
There you go, that is the kind of impact it had on the people and the fans of both teams.
Laettner later went on to be the third overall draft pick for Minnesota Timberwolves in 1992. That paved the path for him to move forth in his career as a professional player as he played 13 seasons of NBA with six different teams. Safe to his that his college stardom was the key to him earning his breakthrough contract in the NBA, a league where he could not touch his college stardoms after playing for 13 long seasons for different teams.
Also, he also got tangled in some legal battles as he and his Dukes partner Brian Davis owed more than $30 million in unpaid loans given to their real estate company.
Shawne Merriman, the three-time All-Pro Buffalo Bills linebacker, who lent money to the real-estate ventures of Laettner and Davis, gave his thoughts on this very issue.
"What they have done isn't honest—I feel cheated,"
Moreover, back then in January 2011, a Maryland-based federal court judge ordered Laettner and Davis to pay Merriman $3.7 million.
As a result, Laettner declined to be interviewed on this. But speaking on behalf of their real-estate companies, his partner Davis said,
"Me and Christian took a lot of risk."
Davis said he regretted alienating friends, especially Dawkins, whom he had known for 25 years.