Syracuse basketball head coach Jim Boeheim had a pretty sharp and unnecessary take on the Jalen Johnson and Duke basketball situation.
This college basketball season has been plagued with postponements and cancellations due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols. Some teams were forced to eliminate games from their schedules while others had to end their seasons altogether. The year 2021 has also brought the death of blue blood basketball as some of the nation’s historically top teams will likely miss the NCAA tournament.
Still, Jalen Johnson’s decision to opt-out of the remaining six Duke basketball games this season has brought on some of the most interesting opinions that college basketball has seen in a while. The Duke star announced a few days ago he is opting out to prepare for the NBA Draft.
Critics have spoken ill of this young man for choosing to do what’s best for him and now Syracuse basketball coach Jim Boeheim is piling on the negativity.
Jim Boeheim throws a classless shot at Duke’s Jalen Johnson
Duke is currently 9-8 overall and without some sort of late-season miracle, will miss the NCAA tournament this season. Johnson’s presence or lack thereof wouldn’t likely influence Duke’s odds of making the tournament at all at this point.
Still, Boeheim was asked about the loss of Johnson and how it’s affected Duke.
“That guy was hurting them so they actually are much better now without him. He was just doing some things and keeping other people from playing that are good. They’ve had two monster wins since he’s opted out.”
Duke did get big wins over NC State and Wake Forest — two teams they should beat rather easily — but it’s not necessarily a fair indictment on Johnson.
This quote was completely unnecessary. Not only is Duke simply not good this year, but there’s also nothing he can do to change their future. Also, Boeheim taking the time out of his day to blast a kid who doesn’t play for his program is classless.
College basketball should take a step back and truly look at the year it has had. I don’t see how anyone could question a young man, prioritizing himself and his livelihood when we’ve seen exactly how precious your livelihood can be over the past 365 days.
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