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If You Boo Nolan Smith You're a Tool

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The most disturbing thing I've heard in quite some time was that there was a noticably audible smattering of boos when Nolan Smith was introduced at the Powerade Jam Fest on Monday night.

Now I understand that he has committed to Duke and that anyone who is announced as a Blue Devil is liable to elicit a few cat calls in the state of Kentucky, but I'm not naive enough to believe that at least a handful of these pathetic adults weren't wearing red.

The 6-foot-3, 190-pound son of late Louisville great Derek Smith broke the heart of many a Cardinal fanatic a year ago by spurning Rick Pitino and committing to Duke. Sure we all would have loved to have a kid who used a silky outside shot, impressive set of handles and an even more impressively level head to average 22.1 points, 4.6 assists and 4.1 rebounds a game as a senior, but booing him out of some sort of sense that he is somehow indebted to you is proposterous.

An 18-year-old kid good enough at basketball to play for Duke doesn't owe anybody an explanation for choosing to do so, but Smith gave one to the Louisville fans saying that he wanted to carve his own niche and that he didn't necessarily want to live in his father's shadow.

Sounds reasonable, let's move on.

But for whatever reason, some people are apparently unwilling to let this go. In any place where rationality rules, you call these people morons.

Perhaps this wouldn't be so infuriating if Smith weren't such a likeable kid in the midst of an environment chalk full of unlikable kids.

O.J. Mayo's exploits have been well documented in these parts for years now, Michael Beasley has played for six sxhools in as many years, Jai Lucas and Patrick Patterson are considering Kentucky, but you choose to boo a kid who not only had a father who contributed a great deal to your favorite program, but said things like "I love Louisville" and "Louisville is where my heart is, and Louisville will always be one of my favorite teams to watch" on Tuesday.

Shame on you.

Go back to watching the Larry the Cable Guy movie, or your Battle Star Gallactica DVDs, or scouting the 11 and 12-year-old AAU games, or whatever else it is that you people do.

You don't have to paint your chest up for the kid, you don't have to stand up and scream when his anme's called, you don't even have to clap if you don't want to, but if you're a Louisville fan and you boo Nolan Smith when he's introduced at tonight's McDonald's All-American game, you are an absolute disgrace to the program.