Devil’s Slant: Duke Basketball Grammar Lesson – Part One

First of all, let me just say you’re welcome. And then, after I’ve said that, let me just say take notice I didn’t say “your welcome,” because that’s horribly, horribly wrong. If you can’t grasp that, you should probably just stop reading this now and go back to school, and if you’re in school, maybe stop reading this and pay attention because, good lord. Grammar.


Are we all caught up? Good. After seeing numerous comments and tweets grossly misspelling the names of Duke’s fine coaches and players this season, I decided to take matters into my own hands and give you guys a quick rundown on the proper spelling/pronunciation of a few of the basketball program’s oft misspelled names. I understand this will need to happen again with the recruiting class coming in, because I can only imagine the creative ways people will try to spell Jahlil Okafor.

Let’s start with the greatest. The best ever. The GOAT. The coach.


Michael Krzyzewski — Go on and sound that one out. Chances are, if you’ve never heard the name before, you’re going to do real badly. “Crazy…zoo…sky?” That’s incorrect. The proper pronunciation of our fearless leader’s name is “Sha-chef-ski.” However, spelling it can complicate things, and here’s my hint to remember it. Spell “crazy” like a Cameron Crazy, only with a K and leave the A out. Then, spell “Jew” only with a Z, and remember to ski at the end. Boom. Tough actin’ Tinactin, you have it mastered.



Rasheed Sulaimon — “Hi I’m Doris Burke and I have to say that I’m the worst but Soo-lee-mon is the best tonight.” Or, “I’m Dick Vitale and Sally-lamon is on fire tonight baby!” These are some of the troubles Sulaimon has had this year and in year’s past. It’s really easy folks. Sool-a-mon. That’s it. Say it with me: Sool-a-mon. There you go. And as for the spelling, remember it’s Sula, like the dude on Star Trek only with an A, then a Jamaican greeting to round it out, “I mon!” Now squeeze all that together and you have Sulaimon, and then you look like less of an idiot when you take to Twitter to talk about that game tying shot at Syracuse that dang near gave me a heart attack.

Tyler Thornton — I don’t really understand how this is a problem for people, but I saw a tweet the other day that spelled his last name “Thornetonne” or something like that and it just blew my mind. It’s so easy. Thorn, like “Tyler is a thorn in the paw of opposing point guards,” and then ton, like “Thornton either hits a ton of threes or gets a ton of fouls in every game. Easy peasy. Pronounce it just like it looks. You’re all caught up.

Guys this is hilarious.

Guys this is hilarious.

Semi Ojeleye — The first name is easy. Spell it like those big trucks that always run people off the road, only pronounce it like there’s an E on the end. Sim-me. The last name is a tad more difficult to spell, but bear with me. Start with an O, like “Oh, Semi didn’t play again, I wonder what’s up with that. Then, spell gel only with a j, like, “I wonder if he’s not playing because he doesn’t gel. Then, end it all with eye, like “Eye wonder if he’ll transfer soon.”

Sorry about that I just really needed to make that one work.

Already let’s finish this with a couple of easy ones for the road.

Actual comment from Duke Report...smh.

Actual comment from Duke Report…smh.

Quinn Cook — Guys don’t put an E on the end. It’s that simple. I’ve never met anyone named “Cooke.” Come on.

Todd Zafirovski — Let’s all be honest here and just say we’re going to call him Todd Z because it’s easier to say and spell. Love you, Todd.

And that wraps up this Duke Basketball Grammar Lesson. Go forth and tweet/blog/text properly, using this article as a guide to make sure your snippets of jubilation/lament are properly spelled. And yes, I’m probably judging you if you make a mistake.

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3 Replies to “Devil’s Slant: Duke Basketball Grammar Lesson – Part One”

  1. Angie says:

    Semi is pronounced “shimmy”

    1. Jim Oliver says:

      I scolded the writer and made him do suicides.

      1. Travis says:

        Look I’m real bad sorry about this. Can we all maybe just agree that “Semi” and my graphic is way better than “Shimmy?” I mean, we might even get together and talk to him about changing it permanently.

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