Fab 5, Michigan, Jalen Rose, Duke, Grant Hill – What Of It?
Not going to make a big deal of this, but Grant Hill decided to issue a retort to what Jalen Rose said about the Duke programme in 1992 and earlier this week on ESPN2’s First Take (while backing off his initial opinion as a teenager, not as a 38 year old father).
Grant Hill’s Response:
I couldn’t care less if you went to Duke, if you fit the profile, if you get offended, if you are a fan of any of their sports teams. So coming back at me with that Duke-philia will get the Heisman stiff-arm from me.
I had to write, because someone inboxed me asking me what I had to say about this shit.
(2:59 PM, 3.16.2011)
I’ve gotta put the final touches on this case study, so I won’t really get into right now (could definitely write a column about it later), but this is how I feel about it from being someone who has embodied EVERY SIDE of this argument.
When I was a toddler, my parents were both unemployed, and we were homeless. And lived in the projects until I was 6. We were low income until I was in my early teens and then things went almost 180 the other way.
I split my life between NY and NC, and I’ve lived in every conceivable situation (aside from elite/plush) in both places. I managed to get an education, with the athletic ability to play college and professional football. And was around guys who are/were currently in the NBA (Haywood, Odom, Artest) and NFL (Holt brothers, Peppers) regularly who went to prestigious schools in their own right, who didn’t do what Rose accused Duke of doing.
Krzyzewski, as a private school representative, isn’t obligated to go inner city, as a matter of fact, probably chided for doing so, even if he thought about it. He’s had knuckleheads on his team before (Avery, Dockery, Maggette, etc.) so I won’t really go in on him there. He has an image to uphold personally and as a representative of Duke.
That said, you have to remember that Rose made those statements as a teenager. He is learned now. And he’d be worse than an Uncle Tom (that is, HYPOCRITE) for saying that as a 38 year old man with teenaged kids who live the life that Grant Hill had to the NTH degree, even.
Grant Hill completely missed the point, though. As does anyone who tries to defend what Duke does behind CLOSED DOORS. Their choices in recruits is on them. They have a programme, system, profile and image that they cultivated and want to sustain. It is their right. They are not UNC or NCSU. But the level of hypocrisy and filth within that system is what a lot of people, GROWN AS I AM at age 32, find even more repulsive about Duke than anything Rose said. I hate Duke more now than I did as merely a fan 20 years ago.
Calling a Black man an Uncle Tom is a quadruple-edged sword. And it is as bad as calling a woman a “Cunt”, so you have to be on point when you do it. For every Grant Hill, Battier, Brand, Brian Davis, etc., you have your sure fire Uncle Toms, but he made a spurious comment as a teenager, unlikely understanding the ramifications of the term and how profound the meaning is.
Jalen is a smart man. But one thing I have always noticed whenever he talks is that while he elucidates to an extent with some points, he doesn’t ARTICULATE THEM completely, so even the other day on First Take, while explaining it, I knew what he was trying to say, but it still didn’t completely come through.
You get me up there and I’d be like the Biggie of that shit and niggas would completely and vividly picture exactly what it was I was trying to say, even if I was speaking on Jalen’s behalf. Naturally, people were gonna take exception with it in 1992 and again today, but I understood Jalen.
Grant Hill’s rebuttal/defense was not necessary. He’s the last guy I would come after. The only guy on that 1992 team that I respected, and I HATED that team with every fibre of my being because of the fix in 1991 as it were. I don’t make things Black vs. White, class, haves vs. have nots, unless that is indeed the dynamic.
But the turn we were experiencing socially at the time made this a bit more of an issue that it should have been. Jalen has always been my guy and I completely respect his candor. Those butt hurt Duke fags always want to get defensive when someone comes at them when they’re the most classless guys on the court 90% of the time.
I’m not saying a Black guy who furthers his education, familial legacy and garners for himself networking possibilities and secures his financial future by going to a school like Duke is an Uncle Tom, but like porn, we KNOW Uncle Toms when we see them, even if we cannot always classify them by a strict definition.
Besides, it would be hypocritical of me, as that is what I am doing in MY life. I just didn’t go to Duke.
And let me clarify, I don’t hate Duke as an academic institution, it’s all aimed toward that basketball programme and the hypocrisy that runs from the coach down (do not get me started on his indefensible sideline demeanor and then the image that he and those dirty players who are purely antithetical to everything Duke purports itself to be externally). Let’s keep that clear.