By now, every college basketball fan knows about the “The Shot.” With 2.1 seconds left in overtime, Duke, the defending national champions, trailed Kentucky 103-102 in the 1992 Elite Eight. Grant Hill had the ball on the baseline to inbound for Duke and heaved it to inside the opposite three-point arc. “There’s the pass to Laettner. Puts it up. Yes!”
Christian Laettner led Duke to the Final Four in all four seasons at Duke, including the back-to-back titles in 1991 and 1992. His 407 career points in the NCAA tournament remain a record, so do his 23 games played. He went on to play 13 seasons in the NBA and was the only collegiate player on the Dream Team that won the gold medal at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona.
ESPN’s documentary “I Hate Christian Laettner,” which debuted in March, explores Laettner’s status as college basketball’s most polarizing figure. Laettner joined The Wall Street Journal to discuss “The Shot” and other topics from his career.Although Laettner’s success and demeanor made him the darling of Blue Devil fans, it also made him the object of hatred for countless others across the country. Duke fans relished in his swagger while others saw his attitude—and incidents such as when he stepped on an opposing player—as reasons to hate him and the Blue Devils even more.
- from the Wall Street Journal