The most memorable moment of the 1992 Regional Final between Kentucky and Duke is easily Christian Laettner’s game winner in overtime. The pass, the spin, and the shot in 2.1 seconds are perfect, one of those seamless sequences that basketball seems made for. But the second most memorable moment of that game? That’s the little toe-tapping stomp Laettner delivered to Aminu Timberlake.
In the documentary “I Hate Christian Laettner,” a 30 For 30 special that aired the night of Selection Sunday, there was a focus on the various reasons – his greatness, the fact he was a bully, his privilege and more – why so many people despise the former Duke All-American. As you can imagine, the stomp got some prominent airtime.
Timberlake was interviewed about the incident back in 2012 for Time:
Timberlake is now a telecommunications executive in the Atlanta area. First of all, he wants you to know, the stomp looked a lot worse on TV than it actually was. “If you slow it down, you’ll see that his foot actually did stop short a bit,” says Timberlake. “Plus, I had a six-to-eight pack back then. It wasn’t hurting me.”
His first thought was shared by almost everyone watching the game. “My reaction was, he’s going to be kicked out of the game,’” Timberlake says. “He should have been kicked out of the game. Though we can’t say with certainty we would have won — who knows, maybe Grant Hill then takes over. But it definitely could have changed what transpired.”
As the film was airing, Laettner took to Twitter and apologized to Timberlake.
Public apologies in a nine-second video clip posted on a social media network, and then embedding that nine-second social media public apology in a story. The Year 2015 is weird and I’d still probably trade it for that Back To The Future Part II hoverboard.