Update: Jalen Rose responds to ongoing controversy over "The Fab Five" documentary

Mar 21, 2011

Update:

Last Friday, Jalen Rose defended some of the comments that he made in the documentary "The Fab Five." Rose claims that Duke did not and would not recruit players like him, and also addresses his use of the term "Uncle Tom," which Rose used in the documentary and which has been a source of ongoing controversy.

Here is Rose, talking about the things he said in the documentary:

"As a seventeen-year old recruit, that's exactly how I felt."

"I felt like I was an inner city kid from the public school league, that was waking up, using kerosene heaters for heat in the house, boiling water to wash up, sleeping with hoodies...at that time I felt like I wasn't good enough for certain stages."

"Now I understand what their program represents because I'm a mature adult."

"I know that it's a private school. I know they do recruit players from well-to-do, affluent families. But also, I understand some of the reasons why. So they don't see some of their players selling goods, selling their rings, for money. Also, they want to get kids that are going to represent the program the right way."

"The bottom line is that they do recruit a certain type of player."

Check out the full video of Jalen Rose and Jimmy King's response here.

Original article:

Over the weekend, ESPN aired a documentary about one of the most famous groups of basketball players to play for the University of Michigan, "The Fab Five."

While the focus of the film was on the team, some controversial comments were made about Grant Hill, a former Duke Blue Devil and long-time competitor of many of the players in the Fab Five. 

The Quad, the New York Times College Sports Blog, has this explanation (in italics) followed by a response from Grant Hill himself:

“The Fab Five,” an ESPN film about the Michigan basketball careers of Jalen Rose, Juwan Howard, Chris Webber, Jimmy King and Ray Jackson from 1991 to 1993, was broadcast for the first time Sunday night.

In the show, Rose, the show’s executive producer, stated that Duke recruited only black players he considered to be “Uncle Toms.” Grant Hill, a player on the Duke team that beat Michigan in the 1992 Final Four, reflected on Rose’s comments.

Here's the beginning of Hill's response:

I am a fan, friend and longtime competitor of the Fab Five. I have competed against Jalen Rose and Chris Webber since the age of 13. At Michigan, the Fab Five represented a cultural phenomenon that impacted the country in a permanent and positive way.

The very idea of the Fab Five elicited pride and promise in much the same way the Georgetown teams did in the mid-1980s when I was in high school and idolized them. Their journey from youthful icons to successful men today is a road map for so many young, black men (and women) who saw their journey through the powerful documentary, “The Fab Five.”

It was a sad and somewhat pathetic turn of events, therefore, to see friends narrating this interesting documentary about their moment in time and...calling all black players at Duke “Uncle Toms” and, to some degree, disparaging my parents for their education, work ethic and commitment to each other and to me.

I should have guessed there was something regrettable in the documentary when I received a Twitter apology from Jalen  before its premiere. I am aware Jalen has gone to some length to explain his remarks about my family in numerous interviews, so I believe he has some admiration for them.

Grant Hill now plays for the Phoenix Suns.

You can read the rest of Hill's response here.

-Brian Short, Michigan Radio News