“I hate Duke,” Richard Jefferson told Atlanta Hawks’ rookie forward and former Duke star Cam Reddish in April 2020. “I hate everything that Duke stands for. I hate every player that’s ever come out of Duke … I despise Duke basketball.”
Eight months later, Jefferson again proclaimed his disdain for the Blue Devils, saying, “I can’t stand Duke,” during the broadcast of a Miami Heat-New Orleans Pelicans game in which former Duke All-American Zion Williamson scored 32 points.
For 20 years, since his Arizona team lost to Shane Battier, Mike Dunleavy, Jay Williams, and Duke in the 2001 national championship, Richard Jefferson has willingly denounced Duke basketball, repeatedly blasting the school and program for “elitism” and belief it’s an “Ivy League south” school “on the same level as Stanford or Harvard.” And for 20 years, he’s drawn the ire of Duke fans, players, and alumni, with his unwavering commitment to mocking the school.
Jefferson will draw the ire of the Blue Devils again after his appearance on this week’s episode of the Unleashed podcast. The NBA champion and former first-round pick joined Olvia Harlan Dekker and Speedy Morman to talk about his career, this year’s NBA playoffs, and refusal to take a photo with anyone wearing Duke gear.
“I don’t take pictures with anyone wearing Duke paraphernalia … I make kids take off sweatshirts, jerseys, anything,” he said on Unleashed. “So that’s kind of fun to watch people disrobe their Duke paraphernalia and eliminate that just so they can get a picture.”
Listen to the full episode of Unleashed below and subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and everywhere else podcasts are available to receive notifications for future episodes and listen to previous episodes with C.J. McCollum, Mark Mulder, Jalen Rose, and others.