Jalen Rose Responds to Grant Hill’s Op-Ed
When the opportunity presented itself to tell the story of my brothers and teammates known as “The Fab Five,” the intention was to remember and pay homage to a transformative time in not only my life, but in basket culture. Delving back into those years was a joyous and painful experience for all those who participated in the piece because a lot of the memories are now bittersweet.
Despite the bevy of subjects broached in “The Fab Five” including racism by University of Michigan alums and our fight with the NCAA, it seems that statements made about my perception of the Duke Basketball program have been the most scrutinized and talked about part of the film. These statements were made to reflect how a 17 year old version of myself thought about Duke and they culminated with my assertion that Black players who attended Duke were Uncle Toms.
Following the Documentary, the most heralded Black Duke player of all time -and a personal friend of mine- Grant Hill, wrote a scathing Op-Ed piece to the New York Times where he defended the legacy of Duke as an institution and gave a sociological dissertation on the ills of the Black America. While Grant was well within his rights to defend his institution and upbringing, he also took the time to refer to my speech as “garbled,” and my opinions as “pathetic.” To those comments I only have to say one thing to Grant…
Fuck you Nigga.
See, I knew yo bitch ass couldn’t resist the opportunity to make sure Massa’s dishes were clean. You just had to write some ho ass essay defending Duke didn’t you? I bet you didn’t even write the shit. Most likely Coach K wrote it and you just edited out all the niggers and coons he called us. So I called you an Uncle Tom when I was 17, so what? Damn my nigga, stop being so sensitive about shit. You looking more and more like the bitch I thought you were with every word you say.
You know what? I stand behind the Uncle Tom shit now, fuck it. When I think of black dudes that went to Duke, names like Elton, Shane, Grant, Thomas (not Tommy), William, (not Billy) and Nolan, pop up in my head. All those names mean your parents wanted you to be Toms since birth. It’s like naming your son Jeeves or Anderson. Why in the fuck would you give him either name unless you want him to wash draws and serve dinners for a living? No matter what you do, name your son Jeeves and he will be a Butler. Name a black dude Shane or Grant, and he WILL listen to Maroon 5. He WILL eat bagels with cream cheese. He WILL watch “Friends”. All those names are little Uncle Tom starter kits. Now take our names, the names of the Fab Five. You got Jalen, Jimmy, Ray, Juwan and Chris, aka real nigga shit. That don’t even sound like no basketball team. It sounds like a bunch of fools banging Hoover Crip if you ask me.
As for your parents, I’ll lemme take this opportunity to say fuck them too. Yeah, they did a good job getting they paper and shit, but I can’t respect the swagless way in which they raised you. Speaking of that, check out this picture of you and your father I found…
What in Cosby Sweaters is going on out this bitch? Shit is ridiculous. And as hard is your pops is supposed to be bankin, he ain’t got the scratch to have his mustache shaped up? On the real my nigga, that don’t even look like a mustache, it looks like failure ate his upper lip. Shit, if having a father means that you have to look this corny, I’ll opt for mom dukes doing the heavy lifting. Y’all took the Cliff and Theo shit too far here. I can’t approve.
People been telling me that you ain’t no Uncle Tom, one reason being because you have an African American Art Collection. When they tell me that, I tell them they stupid like these hoes. Fuck yo art, as a matter of fact you don’t even have it anymore, all your art belongs to me now. I had my niggas Bop and Lil Tony jack that shit last night. I’m selling it and using the money for the charter school I’m building in the hood. The hood, nigga. The place where you can get 15 chicken wings for 2.99. The place where the stove is a heater. The place you don’t know shit about.
I look forward to your response to this letter, because if you get flip with me this time I’m clean fucking you up. Real shit, let’s see if the suburbs showed you how to use them hands. And I ain’t giving yo fragile ass an injury time-out either. I know why yo ankles bad anyway, too much grabbing them for the white man. I’m out ho. Watch who the fuck you talking to in the future, I’m from Detroit bitch, I’ll smack the black back into yo vanilla ass.
And as for Tamia, I fucked.