The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Ergo, Jalen Rose is now THE most popular Detroit Inner City ‘baller in Chapel Hill. Surely you’ve heard former Fab Fiver trashes Duke in the current Fab Five documentary on ESPN. Chapel Hill’s Time Out eatery declared free chicken biscuits for anyone wearing a rose or anyone with an Uncle named Tom. ….. Not so fast. Was Jalen bashing Carolina too?
I LOVE me a topic like this one. Hypocrites pour out of every nook and cranny. I do love to bash hypocrites …… white ones, black ones, rich ones, poor ones. Hypocrites is hypocrites is hypocrites. Bash bash bash. Better pack a lunch. This is a loooong one.
Sidney Deathwatch is Over. Sidney Lowe pulled his own plug Tuesday AM. 24 hours of eulogizing “good ol’ Sidney” and then it’s hats ‘n horns and bounce off the walls time for that species of Wuffs they keep chained up in the basement of William Neal Reynolds Coliseum. We’ll have plenty of time to have plenty of fun with them …. but for now it’s Jalen vs Duke aka Grant Hill vs Hoods From da Hood.
The timing of Jalen’s Uncle Toms comment was “perfect”. For Franklin Streeters this year’s ACC Tournament was officially one that doesn’t matter. Like football games with State, ACC Tournaments that Carolina does not win don’t count. But the regular season championship does ….. unless UNC doesn’t win that one in which the ACC Tournament counts. Drink enuff Old Well water and it all makes sense.
Duke dominated UNC on Sunday as convincingly as UNC dominated Duke a week before. Before UNCers could even do their “who cares, doesn’t count” thing, Jalen popped his Uncle Tom cap on Duke.
Jalen Rose was, after Chris Webber, the 2nd most infamous member of The Fab Five of Michigan in the early 90s. He was the tall bald guard that looked like a lizard. He went on to a 13 year career in the NBA and is now a very well-spoken NBA analyst for ESPN. “Well-spoken” is white guy-speak for “Jalen doesn’t speak in eubonics or dress like a pimp”. He was co-producer of this ESPN Fab Five documentary.
The Fab Five were five Michigan recruits in the Fall of 1991. Four were from Detroit’s “inner city” and the star – Webber – was from Country Day which is the Detroit-area’s most exclusive private high school. Shane Battier is also an alum of Country Day which is kind of significant as one peels this onion.
The Five embodied every scary stereotype of urban black basketballers that had not already been embodied by Jerry Tarkanian’s UNLV teams just before them. Tatts were not “in” back then or surely they woulda
“We’re Black and We Scare You – BOO!”
been covered in them. As it was they used shaved heads and assorted effectations of “hey, look at us, we’re black and we scare you …. BOO!” including black socks and lots of trash talk. Their coach – Steve Fisher – was not as scary as Jerry but was sufficiently sleazy with a roseola skin condition to be easily dislikable by every BB fan not from Ann Arbor.
Duke was 3-0 against The Fab Five and Carolina was 1-1 (a one pt loss in Hawaii). Both Duke and Carolina beat The Fab Five in NCAA Final Four Games in ’92 and ’93 respectively. In ’91 Duke beat UNLV in the semis after being trounced by them in the ’90 Finals. It’s worth noting that Duke beat BOTH the UNLV’s thugs and The Fab Five thugs in The Final Four back-to-back years.
Affluent black kid Grant Hill was a star on that Duke team. Grant’s daddy was Yalie Cowboy Calvin Hill and his mamma was a classmate of Hillary Clinton at Wellsley. Grant’s parents were like Seth Curry’s if you’re keeping score. Apparently Jalen is.
Do all black athletes come from either inner-city ‘hoods or affluence? Is there no in-between? Is it Grant Hill or “the hoodie crowd”? Is there no such socio-cultural strata as “middle-class” for a black teenager? What were Trajen Langdon, Carlos Boozer, Jay Williams, Elton Brand ???
Jalen’s slams at Duke is that Coach K does not recruit “inner city kids”. He, according to Jalen, only recruits affluent black ballers. Jalen says the only Detroit kids that Coach K has ever recruited were Webber and Battier and both were from exclusive Country Day. Since, according to Jalen, Duke does not recruit “urban kids” then any black baller that does go to Duke is, per Jalen, an “Uncle Tom”.
In the deck of race cards, the phrase Uncle Tom is considered a trump card. When it’s played everyone goes ooooohhhhhh.
In the hubba hubba that has erupted since Jalen’s remarks Sunday night, he has clarified that his dislike of Duke were the impressions of a 17 y/o inner-city kid who was not recruited by Duke. No one in Jalen’s ‘hood followed Duke because Duke was perceived as a uppity white private school where poor black kids were not welcomed.
Henry Lewis “Skip” Gates – the beer summit black Harvard professor – said the same negative thing about Duke from his experience there in the late 80s. And Duke Lacrosse players have had issues with crazy black ho’s …. but who hasn’t. I digress ….
I don’t know the family situations of Duke’s AfrAmerican kids over the years other than Grant Hill and Shane Battier. Perhaps family situation IS a factor that Coach K considers in determining a recruit’s success % at Duke. Perhaps “being from California and having helicopter parents” is now a factor that Roy will consider in recruiting …..
Whatever factors Coach K does consider ….. the end results seem darn successful over the past 25 years. Duke alums seem pretty pleased. Since 1960 Duke and UNC have pretty much keyed on the same top recruits from Art Heyman and Larry Miller in the 60s to Harrison Barnes last year and lots of Ferry, Laettner, Hurley, Hill, etc etc. in between.
I’ve gotten lots of mileage out of the line ….. “Carolina fans rave about a top recruit UNC anticipates signing ….. UNTIL he signs with Duke. Then that same “great kid” suddenly becomes a pedophiliac homosexual with smelly feet.” because he signed with Duke.
I’m not an authority on UNC players’ economic family history but two players that made many UNC fans kinda squeamish were Rasheed Wallace and Rashad McCants. Both brought outstanding BB talent and a heavy dose of angry black kid with attitudes. Add in Jeff McGinniss and Ol’ Makhtar and Joe Forte and his mamma. Duke’s experience with Cory Maggette and “Uncle” Myron Piggie ended unwell for Duke.
If there was something “wrong” with recruiting “Uncle Tom’s like Grant Hill, then it applies to Sean May and Harrison Barnes and Charlie Scott and Michael Jordan and even Larry “Who II”.
Tyler Hansbrough came from “a broken home”. Does UNC get a point for that? Cherokee Park’s parents were hippies.
My fellow Carolina fans love the cuddly term “a Carolina kinda kid”. I don’t believe they ever used that term referring to Jalen Rose or Larry Johnson or any “kinda scary and angry inner-city black kid”. Since UNC and Duke have gone down to the wire on so many top recruits over the years, I’d say both bitter rivals have the same basic recruiting philosophy. Wouldn’t you agree? Wasn’t Jalen Rose bashing Carolina by bashing Duke?
Both UNC and Duke seem especially efficient nationally at recruiting white frontcourt players over the years going way back to Rusty Clark, Mike Lewis, Montross, Laettner, Ferry, Gminski, Hansbrough, Park, Singler, Zeller. Roy had the same success at Kansas. I’m just noting “star players”. Counting non-stars and the “big white kids” list balloons.
I would venture a bet that among the 5-6 college programs with the most overall “success” over the past 20 years ….. Duke and UNC have had more non-AfrAmers (aka “white kids) among their regular players than any other programs. I don’t count “the biscuit boys” on the end of the bench used to fatten team GPA scores. Every program uses white kids for that.
So, in conclusion …..
(1) Maybe Jalen is correct. So what?
(2) What’s true for Duke would apply to Carolina too.
(3) Does any UNC or Duke fan have a complaint about the success or “image” of their respective program? I don’t; nor do any of my UNC or Duke buddies.
Dean Smith became UNC’s coach because Frank McGuire was run off after prominent UNC fans objected to Frank only recruiting New York City kids. That was what worked for McGuire. Ev Case liked Indiana and Pennsylvania kids.
In 1989, Steve Fisher replaced Bill Frieder as Michigan’s coach at the beginning of March Madness. He ended up winning a national championship behind Rumeal Robinson. Robinson is now in prison for a long time for massive swindling including emptying the bank account of the woman who raised him. The Fab Five took $100,000s from a street agent but never won a NatChmp. UM was hit with serious NCAA penalties and had all the Fab Five’s Ws taken away. Michigan’s probation for all that crap ends in 2013.
Neither UNC nor Duke’s athletic philosophies have ever run afoul of the NCAA in the past 50 years ….. oops, UNTIL UNC Football recruited a poor black kid from the inner-city of Washington DC named Marvin.