Hurley nominates 'hated' Laettner for Curtain

Posted at 12:21 PM, Feb 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-22 00:38:41-05

ASU's 942 Crew student section created the Curtain of Distraction in 2013 as a way to get under the skin of opponents during free-throw attempts.

So, it's no surprise ASU coach Bobby Hurley wouldn't mind seeing ex-Duke teammate Christian Laettner, the man voted The Most Hated College Basketball Player of the Last 30 Years, make a Curtain appearance.


"He found a way to irritate his opponent and frustrate them, both with his play and with his attitude sometimes, so maybe he'd be a good guy," Hurley said.

During his time at Duke from 1988-92, Laettner was known as much for his cocky attitude as for his greatness on the court.

"He found a way to irritate his opponent and frustrate them, both with his play and with his attitude"

Hurley and Laettner, along with other greats such as former Phoenix Sun Grant Hill, won back-to-back national championships in 1991-92.

But Laettner was also a bully who delighted in rubbing players the wrong way -- including his own teammates.

"In practice and pick-up games where he was bearing down on me, it wasn't always easy to be around him," Hurley said in ESPN's documentary, "I Hate Christian Laettner."

"Sometimes I would try to ignore him ... I wouldn't respond to some of it. It just depended on what mood I was in."

The 6-foot-11 Laettner admitted he enjoyed picking on the much smaller Hurley, partially because it lit a fire under Hurley and made him a better player.

"Bobby, it was just easy to get under his skin," Laettner said in ESPN's documentary. "As soon as I saw it and how easy I was able to get under his skin, it became like an infection where I just wanted to do it all the time."

The Curtain of Distraction has gained national notoriety, especially after the most decorated Olympian in history made an appearance last month -- in a Speedo, no less.

Phelps' appearance was immensely successful, as ASU's opponent missed both free-throw attempts -- and better yet, it opened the door for other athletes to participate in the phenomenon.

What should Laettner wear in the Curtain of Distraction? "Not a Speedo," Hurley said.

So, in light of Phelps' appearance, what would Hurley like to see Laettner wear if he makes a Curtain call of his own?

"Not a Speedo," Hurley joked. "Maybe just his shorts, his jersey, and maybe a headband or something -- some goggles, something a little bit crazy."

ASU has two home games remaining this season -- vs. Stanford on March 3 and vs. Cal on March 5. It's not too late for college hoops' biggest villain to make a trip to Tempe and put his distraction skills to good use for the benefit of his former teammate.

Regardless of what you think of Laettner, Hurley's idea is one that no Sun Devil fan should hate.

(Laettner photo courtesy of People magazine)