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Top 5 Duke players I will never stop hating

Hate, hate, hate, double hate, loathe entirely.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Midwest Regional-Syracuse vs Duke Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

It’s Rivalry Week here at SB Nation! Tar Heel Blog is kicking it off with an ode to players from just eight miles away who have made it impossible not to hate them.

Will Blythe summed it up best with the title of his book about the rivalry between UNC and Duke: To Hate Like This Is To Be Happy Forever. For many of us, the hatred gets started early and never leaves us. Our parents start yelling at Duke players on TV before we even start eating solids and before you know it we’re joining in.

Some Duke players spark such hatred that it stands the test of time. Yes, we all hate them while they are there, actively putting on the uniform of the damned night after night. The best ones go and come and are forgotten about forever. Some of them, though, manage to leave such an impression that their name might as well be a swear word years after they’ve left Durham.

While locked in the midst of a sports-less void, I decided to look back at the five Duke players that I may actively dislike forever. The list is much longer than five, and narrowing it to just these felt nearly impossible, but we have to stop somewhere.

Without further ado, here are the five Duke players I will never be able to stop hating.

5. The Plumlees

Is it cheating to start off with a three-for-one special? Maybe, but it’s only fitting that the beginning is something that felt like it would never end. The Plumlee parents executed a brilliant, long-running con against Carolina fans. Every time one of their sons finally moved on and Duke haters thought we were free, they managed to manifest another son right into the program.

This went on for what felt like forever. I guess there were only three, but it felt like more. I’m not convinced each son of the trio isn’t going to pop out several new Plumlees that will be waiting to commit to the cryogenically frozen head of Mike Krzyzewski in like 30 years.

4. Austin Rivers

Admittedly, this one is for one reason only. You know the shot, and I know you remember the way it felt to see it go in and have Duke celebrate on the Smith Center court. Any emotion ranging from numb to despair to rage would make perfect sense in that moment.

Rivers doesn’t have the longevity of some of the other names on this list, but that damn shot is one that will haunt me. Part of that is because ESPN insists on showing it seemingly regularly. Ugh.

3. JJ Redick

Redick is probably the first player that I actively loathed as a college basketball fan old enough to really understand what I was watching. He was at Duke throughout my high school days when I knew I was headed to Chapel Hill after graduation if they’d take me, and he was, let’s face it, very easy to hate. It was then that I started bleeding Carolina blue and Redick was an easy target for my disdain for all things that darker shade of blue.

The silver lining here is that the guys in the better shade of blue got the last laugh. Tyler Hansbrough and company making him cry on Senior Night at Cameron was the fuel that kept my hate-fire alive for years to come. I still think of it when I need a pick-me-up. It was that good.

2. Christian Laettner

This is where I admit that Laettner started his career at Duke before I was even born. Does that mean that I don’t hate him with a fiery passion? No. I don’t even have memories before about 1993, but I hate Laettner. People who don’t hate him either root for Duke or don’t have a pulse. That guy embodied everything about Duke in one smug package.

Still, every time I see him in any context, whether it’s live on television or highlights from his playing days, I fight the urge to start yelling profanities. I will teach my future children to boo the very mention of his name.

1. Grayson Allen

Where do we begin? Allen is everything that fans of teams that aren’t Duke think of when they think of Duke players. He is the lab-created stereotype of the players in that uniform that are so easy to hate. The constant complaining coupled with dirty plays, including actively tripping opponents on more than one occasion, almost make him too low-hanging of fruit to be #1. Almost.

My grandmother is 82 years old. She doesn’t really swear, thinks no one should hate other people, and has a very “at least everyone tried hard” kind of attitude about sports. My grandmother hates Grayson Allen. If that isn’t the biggest indictment against him, I don’t know what is. He managed to make a sweet old lady hate him with the fire of a thousand suns.

Please leave your own list in the comments below so that I know who continues to fuel your hate fire as well.