Posted on March 11, 2011

Jalen Rose Thought Duke Basketball Was Full of ‘Uncle Toms,’ Plus More on His Fab Five Documentary

Michael Rothstein,, March 8, 2011

Jalen Rose played on the Fab Five teams at Michigan.

Now he’s helped produce a documentary about the college basketball program that created a culture shift in basketball with black socks and baggy pants. The Times hated the Blue Devils.

“For me, Duke was personal. I hated Duke and I hated everything I felt Duke stood for,” Rose says in the film. “Schools like Duke didn’t recruit players like me. I felt like they only recruited black players that were Uncle Toms.”

“The faces of Duke, I didn’t like them,” Jimmy King said.

“I hated Duke. I hated Duke,” Ray Jackson said.

“Coach K, you have Christian Laettner, Bobby Hurley, Grant Hill, yeah, they winning and keep in mind they won a championship the year before,” Juwan Howard said. “I respect that but we are talented, too.”

“I was jealous of Grant Hill. He came from a great black family, congratulations,” Rose said. “Your mom went to college and was roommates with Hillary Clinton. Your dad played in the NFL, is a very well-spoken and successful man. I was upset and bitter that my mom had to bust her hump for 20-plus years. I was bitter that I had a professional athlete that was my father that I didn’t know.”

A lot of the hate was directed toward Laettner, who was considered the best player on the Duke team and was often the catalyst when people pointed out what they didn’t like about Duke.

“Duke was like America’s team and Christian Laettner was like God and I didn’t like him,” Howard said.

“I thought Christian Laettner was soft,” King said.

“Overrated,” Jackson said.

“Pretty boy,” Howard said.

Others had more disparaging words for the former Duke standout not suitable for using here.