After Jason Williams’ huge misstep the other day when he posted that Ime Udoka was the first coach of color that the Boston Celtics had hired (it was Bill Russell in the late ‘60s and several since then too), JWill said that his Twitter had been hacked.
Maybe so, maybe not.
But Jalen Rose said something snide on TV and then said he’d been hacked, in a clear slap at the Duke legend.
Then again, he could have been talking about his claims about the US team being scared to take an all-Black team and taking Kevin Love as “a token” to avoid that.
The US took all-Black teams in several recent Olympics, including in 2016, so that's hard to buy. Love has significant experience and they may be taking him as a sort of player-coach. He’s been around the international game a lot.
Whatever the reason, they took him. Rose advocated for Deandre Ayton of the Phoenix Suns, but there are three possible issues there: 1) he wasn’t part of training camp so presumably wasn’t considered on that basis alone; 2) he’s a citizen of The Bahamas and may not even be eligible to compete for the US, and 3) he has already competed internationally for the Bahamas.
He might be able to compete for the US in the future, if he becomes a citizen and if FIBA gives him a waiver to allow him to play for the US, as they did in the past for Hakeem Olajuwon under similar circumstances.
It literally took us 30 seconds to verify this and unlike Rose, we don’t have an assistant to go do it for us.
Then Rose said this: “I’m excited about the roster and I assume, and I know, we’re going to win the gold. But I’m disappointed in something. As I do this show every day, I do it in front of a picture of Tommie Smith and John Carlos raising their fist at the Olympics. I also know the favoritism that Christian Laettner was shown when he got a chance to be put on the Dream Team ahead of Shaq and Alonzo (Mourning). But they made it so a college player could even get on and gave him favoritism.”
That’s ridiculous on multiple levels.
First, Laettner had one of the greatest college careers in history, as Rose would know since the Fab Five couldn’t come close to handling the Duke legend. He’s even admitted that Laettner was a damn good basketball player.
Second, Laettner dominated O’Neal in college in their two meetings and more than held his own against Mourning too.
Third, on at least two occasions, with major stakes, Laettner showed absolute nerves of steel: first against UConn as a sophomore to go to the Final Four, and second as a senior taking out Kentucky on his epic game winner to return to the Final Four. He made four Final Fours while at Duke, played for three titles and won two. Who else had a resume that even approached his? You know, other than Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bill Walton?
On multiple occasions, Rose has made his envy about and jealousy towards Duke clear and honestly, we can understand it - when he was 18. He had a tough life growing up and we can easily see why he would have resented Duke which was then, and now, fairly or not, presented as a gold standard.
Now he’s 48 years old though, he’s wildly successful and it’s time to let go of that grudge, if for no other reason than it keeps making him look stupid. And clearly, he’s anything but stupid.