Posted by Neil Paine on March 17, 2011
Surely you've seen this already, but if not, a brief recap:
- ESPN had a pretty good documentary about the legendary Michigan "Fab Five" team on Sunday night.
- In it, Jalen Rose, Juwan Howard, Jimmy King, & Ray Jackson spoke very frankly about their feelings on Duke 20 years ago.
- Notably, they felt that Christian Laettner & Grant Hill were "bitches", that Duke only recruited black players who were "Uncle Toms", and Rose in particular felt jealous & bitter toward Hill because Hill's pro-athlete dad was in his life (Rose's father, Jimmy Walker, was also a pro athlete but had no relationship with Rose).
- Grant Hill took offense at Rose's comments and responded in the New York Times yesterday.
My take on this:
Hill was understandably upset and hurt by the statements Rose & his teammates made -- it's never easy to hear that people harbored negative feelings toward you because of factors that were beyond your control. But I think Hill missed Rose's point. In essence, Rose was giving voice to his mindset as a 19-year-old and how it motivated his play back then. And the level of honesty & self-examination with which Rose looked at those emotions was a meditation on Rose's own life more than a knock on Grant Hill. Though he doesn't come out and say it, it seems somewhat obvious that Rose no longer holds the same feelings, if not just from the fact that he now recognizes the true source of his resentment (Rose admits it came from a place of jealousy, not a hatred of Hill himself). That Hill seems unwilling or unable to make a distinction between feelings at 19 and feelings at 38 makes me wonder whether he or Rose has grown more as a person in the last 20 years.