Christian Laettner, Giving Back

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

The Blue Devil legend popped up at a camp where he was asked the eternal Laettner question about The Shot.

Here's an update on Christian Laettner, who has been in South Dakota with Mike Miller at the Legends basketball clinic.

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A lot of this is about Miller, who is a native of South Dakota, but Laettner comes in at the end, where the reporter says he seems more comfortable working with kids than pros.

Small Laettner story: during his career at Duke, we got some floor tickets for a holiday game against a typical, not-very-challenging holiday opponent.

A completely meaningless game to most people although Coach K never accepts that attitude and, as we learned, neither did Laettner: the ball was bobbled and one of the opponents picked the ball up near where we were sitting, near the corner opposite the Duke bench.

Laettner stood over the guy, who was on his knees, and over us as well, and made this...noise.

It wasn't like he was just hollering either - it was far more intense than that.

He wasn't going to let that guy off the hook. He knew it, we knew it, and the guy on the floor certainly knew it.

It was way beyond the normal competitive thing; it was one of the most intimidating things we've ever seen on a basketball court.

We've seen some memorable plays at Duke over the years, including one in that game which we'll get back to in just a minute.

Among the greatest: Grant Hill breaking up a 4-on-1 against UNC in his senior year, Johnny Dawkins stuffing David Rivers near the top of the key for a game-winning play, Keith Booth getting ready for a huge dunk only to find Taymon Domzalski going up for the best blocked dunk we've ever seen in Cameron and Kyrie Irving making fools out of three Michigan State defenders who tried to trap him late in that year's ACC-Big Ten Challenge game at Duke.

It's hard to think of the best, or to limit it to a reasonably small number. Those are on the list, though.

The most amazing play we can recall, though, was from that game we mentioned above: Bobby Hurley chased a ball down near mid-court and caught it going out of bounds. He turned in mid-air and saw - we can't remember whether it was Grant Hill or Brian Davis - streaking towards the basket.

So while leaping out of bounds, Hurley caught the ball, turned in mid-air and threw a pass from half-court for a perfect alley-oop.

For sheer badassedness, for astonishing reaction times, for having the audacity to catch, spin and throw a pass like that before falling into the audience - we've never seen anything like it.  We're pretty sure we never will again.

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