Tar Heel Fan

Thursday, June 15, 2006

The Official Duke Bad Back Excuse

At Duke not only are you armed with a jumpshot, you are also armed with the skills to win in life, and an excuse when things are not going so well. According to ESPN.com J.J. "U-Turn" Redick will resume draft workouts next week after "resting his back." You really cannot make this stuff up can you? For those who might not know the "back problem" excuse has some glorious history at Duke. In 1995 Duke basketball hit a bit of a rough patch following the 1994 NCAA Runner-up finish. They started the season well enough but as they entered ACC play the wheels came off in a hurry. Mike Krzyzewski suddenly and mysteriously took a leave of absence to address a serious back problem and exhaustion. The team was turned over to Pete Gaudet who promptly ran the it straight into the ground. Duke finished 2-14 in the ACC and was dead last. As the above linked article from Truth About Duke points out the losses which according to NCAA rules go on the record of the head coach were expunged at Coach K's request. In the realm of speculation is a rumor that upon his return Coach K had a meeting with his assistants and pointedly told Pete Gaudet that he had " F---ed up his program." Gaudet left the team shortly afterwards. So now comes J.J. Redick who apparently took a week away from showcasing his uncanny ability to create his own shot so he could rest his back. What is even more disturbing is the timing of the whole thing. According to the ESPN article Redick canceled workouts with Orlando and Boston on Monday telling them he needed to rest his back. Less than 24 hours later he gets popped for DWI. How embarassing is that? You tell potential employers that you are physically unable to workout for them but you are obviously well enough to go out a party until 1 AM before getting caught trying to evade a police checkpoint. Redick has apparently rescheduled with these teams and the first question I would ask Redick when he arrives is if his back needed rest why was he out partying and drinking until 1:00 in the morning? And the second question would be whether or not he thought the workouts were so unimportant that he could cancel them on some unverified excuse and then go out partying that night? In my opinion a person who is in the process of marketing himself to a team that is going to invest millions of dollars in him should take the utmost care of himself. In fact during this stage of the draft process he should refrain from doing anything that might reflect negatively on him including getting drunk, especially if he had just canceled two workouts to "rest his back." The latter DWI issue makes Redick look like he lied to the teams in question about his status and really wanted to hang out in Durham instead of working out with these teams. In the real world if I were interviewing for a highly competive position and I decided to cancel the interview because I was sick only to get arrested for DWI that night I am pretty sure that potential employer is going to stop returning my calls. This whole mess is dumb on so many levels without even mentioning the stupidity of getting behind the wheel while legally intoxicated. Anyway, he should probably talk to his former coach and find out the best way to get his unpleasantness expunged from his record, Coach K is really good at that kind of stuff.


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