Friday, July 27, 2012

Christian Laettner 1992 Dream Team 12th Man

Do you think he still owns the gold medal?
Did you know that Christian Laettner led the 1992 Dream Team in Free Throw percentage? He was 18/20 and therefore shot 90%.  He also averaged 4.8 points which was 10th of the 12 Dream Teamers. As the 12th man, Laettner was the best ping pong player. He would repeatedly beat Michael Jordan causing MJ to once chuck his racquet at Christian after a defeat (Duke vs North Carolina is always heated).  Jordan then asked his entourage to find him a ping pong table in Barcelona so that he could practice in his down time in order to beat Laettner. Team USA passed up other great college players at the time to choose Laettner as their man.  Shaquille O'Neal and Alonzo Mourning were arguably better college players than Laettner and were picked 1-2 in the NBA Draft that previous June.  On a slightly related note, Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski was an assistant coach of Daley's for the 1992 Dream Team.

OK, OK. Let's get off of this Laettner Dream Team thing. He was a pretty good pro, right? He did make an All Star Game in 1997. His career average is 12.8 points, 6.7 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 2.2 turnovers. Over the life of his NBA career he brought home $61 million via paychecks. He was also extremely marketable over his career as his likeness once appeared on an NCAA on ESPN commercial where Chris Farley played him. Ducket$ I say!

He's also a good guy, right? Laettner founded a community development company called Blue Devil Ventures with former Duke teammate Brian Davis. In 1995 they began developing a community in Durham, North Carolina called "West Village". Wikipedia does not tell me if they finished development but Bell Partners (a company that Laettner doesn't appear to be associated with) currently runs/manages West Village.  In 2001 Christian donated $1 million to his high school for a scholarship and a new gym.  Blue Devil Ventures donated $2 million to the Duke Blue Devils basketball program as well.  Nice guys, right?

Blue Devil Ventures currently owes over $30 million to various creditors.  These creditors include former Dukie and current Stanford Men's Basketball coach Johnny Dawkins who is owed over $671,000.  BDV currently can't pay him back due to "lack of resources" they say. Classy.  The list of creditors gets even better with BDV owing Scottie Pippin $2.5 million.  Thankfully they paid half of this back to him.  Bills Linebacker Shawne Merriman is the furthest up Sh*t Creek, North Carolina as he is owed $3.7 million.

Oh, if you want to buy that awesome shirt listed at the top of this post go to the infamous UNDRCRWN and cop one for $28. Don't worry: none of your $28 goes towards Blue Devil Ventures.

1 comment:

Jeffrey Thompson said...

That's funny that you're saying that Laetner was a good guy. he was portrayed in the league as a major prick. Add that time when he stepped on Jamal Mashburn's chest in an NCAA tournament games also add credence the CL was not the wonderful guy you made him out to be.