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Monday, October 24, 2011
Christian Laettner faces off with UK again

By Eamonn Brennan

A tremendous promotional idea becomes reality tonight, when Christian Laettner -- former Duke legend and object of sincere hatred for Kentucky fans the world over -- hosts the Big Blue All-Stars vs. Villains game at Rupp Arena. The exhibition's proceeds benefit the V Foundation for Cancer Research, so there's a good reason Laettner agreed to make a video like the following and expose himself to what George Orwell might term the 40 Minutes Hate.

Laettner isn't playing, merely coaching, but he does have a solid roster to work with. To wit:

Big Blue All-Stars:
Coach Rex Chapman
Keith Bogans
DeMarcus Cousins
Josh Harrellson
Chuck Hayes
Brandon Knight
DeAndre Liggins
Jodie Meeks
Nazr Mohammed
Enes Kanter
Tayshaun Prince
Rajon Rondo
John Wall

The Villains:
Coach Christian Laettner
Corey Brewer
Kenneth Faried
Rudy Gay
Eric Gordon
Tyler Hansbrough
Shelvin Mack
Zach Randolph
Nolan Smith
Terrence Williams

There's some serious talent in this game, the kind of talent you usually have to pay NBA ticket money to go see. Thanks to the ongoing NBA labor lockout, that talent can come participate in a rather brilliant charity game idea. Kentucky fans get to unleash a little (hopefully good-natured) hatred toward Laettner and some former rivals while also seeing some quality basketball talent and raising money for a very worthy and important cause. The only question, then, is this: Why is Kenneth Faried a villain? After dropping Louisville in the first round of the NCAA tournament last year, you'd think Kentucky fans would have made him an honorary Wildcat for the night. Alas.

(HT: Mike Miller)