I swear I'll stop writing about Jalen Rose and The Fab Five after this week. I promise. I did, however, want to beatthis dead horse one more good time take a moment to make a request of my (s)kinfolk.
What follows is a clip of ESPN's Chris Broussard discussing the Jalen Rose/Grant Hill issue on First Take. What I'm mostly concerned with begins around minute 1:55.
If last week's rather desultory and occasionally poorly rendered post on The Fab Five was any indication, my love for Jalen Rose and the rest of the Fab Five is immense and endures even today. I appreciate many of the things they symbolized. Just like back in '91, many do not hold this cohort of young black men in the same esteem that I do. Since its airing, the reaction to the Fab Five documentary has mostly centered on Rose's comments about his views of the Duke Blue Devils and its black players, Grant Hill in particular. In the documentary, Rose employed the term "Uncle Tom" to describe how his 18-year-old self understood black Duke players like Hill. Here's the clip:
Last night I caught ESPN's 30 for 30 installment, The Fab Five. The documentary chronicles the two years the University of Michigan men's basketball team captured the imagination--and ire--of the sports watching public. I was a young kid when Jalen Rose, Jimmy King, Juwan Howard, Ray Jackson, and Chris Webber revolutionized college basketball and rocked my basketball-loving world, even more so than the Larry Johnson-led UNLV Runnin' Rebels who came a few years before them. Growing up in basketball obessed Indiana, loyalities were given to either the Purdue Boilermakers or the Indiana Hoosiers. I had always been rather uninspired by the rivalry, couldn't care less about Gene Keady or Bob Knight. But the Fab Five? I wanted to be their little tomboyish sister or something. I wanted the baggy shorts, the black socks, the black sneakers--that I had to convince my dad to buy me, because according to him, "girls don't wear black gym shoes."--and maybe even the bald head. The Fab Five documentary took me back to those inevitably heartbreaking two years when Jalen Rose was my favorite Fab Fiver and the Duke Blue Devils were exactly that--devils. Although the film primarily spoke to the part of me that never got over the Wolverines losing in the NCAA tournament, what also coalesced in the film was perhaps a incredibly pivotal moment in black cultural when desire for respect and the pursuit for respectability were abandoned, inevitably resulting into a hyper-commodified and commericialized black culture that has now reached an extremely nihilistic moment.