Duke Basketball’s Social Media team was started when the whole idea of Duke hating took off. The program, with a lot of concern from Coach K we’re sure, just ultimately figured it was better to tell their own stories than to count on anyone else to do it.
That was even more important after you started seeing explicit bias, like a guy in the Miami paper who said some really unfortunate things about Duke, to implicit bias from guys like CBS’s Matt Norlander, who more than once has started to express himself about Duke and then seems to realize he’s about to make a mistake and cuts himself off.
Seriously, listen to their podcast and it’s pretty obvious. And to his credit, he isn’t willing to say something wildly biased out loud. But it’s lurking.
So Duke got wise and started handling their publicity in-house.
So that’s how we get videos like this one about freshman Henry Coleman. Even from a great remove you could tell that he was a real presence and that’s more clear now than it was before he got to campus.
These kind of videos are really smart business because they humanize Duke players and cut through the idea of Duke hating.
Even that’s changed somewhat, partly due to Coach K’s Olympic tenure and more recently Zion Williamson, who, when it comes to Duke hating, was sort of the opposite of Christian Laettner.