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Deron Washington Remembers Greg Paulus

(By Streeter Lecka - Getty)

Deron Washington was in the news twice last week: once for signing a contract with the Detroit Pistons, and once for being permanently honored at Virginia Tech's new practice facility in an image of him hurdling Greg Paulus's head. Oddly, I had talked to him about both issues the previous month in Vegas, when we briefly chatted following one of his summer league games with the Pistons.

Like other bloggers, I had somehow convinced myself that Washington's leap over Paulus led to a dunk.

"That was just a layup though," he corrected me. "It was one of my best highlights, but it was just a layup. Still, I jumped over somebody; that still impressed a lot of people."

As for his best dunks, Washington named three: one against Georgia Tech, one against Boston College, and one on Sean Singletary, who wound up as Washington's roommate in Vegas this summer.

"I'm always clowning with him; like, 'Oh, I'm about to go watch some YouTube clips, I might watch the YouTube clip from the UVA game," Washington told me. "I'm always messing with him."

And here's another misconception I had: That Washington's most-hated rival in college would have been Singletary and the Hoos. Not so, he said.

"We hated Virginia, but Duke was the most hated," he said. "Unless you go to Duke, there's not too many teams that really like them, but we always had a battle with them. It was always a hard-fought game with Duke....It's just something about Duke that makes us just want to beat them even more. It's Duke."

"It's Duke;" Even players fall back on that, as if nothing else needs to be said. Anyhow, now that he's left the ACC behind, Washington said he doesn't have anything against former Blue Devils.

"But when I'm watching on TV, watching Tech play Duke?" he said. "It's a different story."

Washington spent the past season with Hapoel Holon in Israel, and while he said he had a few memorable dunks, he added that it was virtually impossible to dunk on anyone there.

"Nobody really wanted to jump with me, so it was pretty hard," he explained. "I guess I had the reputation, when he's near the rim, foul him or just get out the way."

And so for that, Israel thanks you, Greg Paulus.

By Dan Steinberg  |  August 17, 2009; 5:44 PM ET
Categories:  College Basketball , NBA  
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I can still hear the chants of "Teabag Paulus" on return visits.

Posted by: sitruc | August 18, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse this the same Singletary that's 5'11"...

I understand the rivalry and all, but seriously, I could jump over Sean Singletary.

Posted by: VamosUnited | August 19, 2009 9:27 AM | Report abuse

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