So, I just read Grant Hill’s response to Jalen Rose calling him and other black Duke players “Uncle Toms” in the ESPN “Fab 5″ documentary, and clearly he missed the point. Now before some oversensitive sap gets on my case and tries to scold me for being ignorant, judgmental or whatever other adjective comes to mind, let me explain what I mean. I’ll be the first to admit that Jalen was out of pocket for using such a racially charged term, especially since the Duke players were nothing more than teenagers trying to play ball just like him. Jalen’s also wrong for directing his anger toward hard-working African-American families who just wanted to provide a stable environment for their kids to thrive in. With all that being said, it doesn’t change the fact that he’s absolutely right that Duke only recruits kids from a particular “well-to-do” background.
Just take a look down the list: Grant Hill came from a suburban household with two educated parents, Shane Battier also grew up in the suburbs, Nolan Smith was the child of a respected NBA star, and even Kyrie Irving has a father who played professionally in Australia, granting him dual citizenship between the US and Australia. When you look at a resumé like that, players with backgrounds like Rose don’t fit into the equation. Jalen even admitted himself that he was jealous of players like Hill because he had the type of family structure he craved.
Now of course Grant Hill is not going to throw shade on the school responsible for his education, but for him to even think that Rose doesn’t have a point about how Duke recruits its players is stupid. I understand that Duke is a private institution, and has the right to enroll students as they see fit, but this also means that players like Rose have every right to feel slighted. This tells young black children that the lifestyle you didn’t choose can potentially determine your ceiling. And let’s keep it all the way real Duke proponents, the day you see Mike Krzyzewski recruiting a player from East New York will be the day I get to challenge Obama to a breakdance contest.
When it’s all said and done, Jalen picked the wrong target to aim his frustrations. But I’d still pick him in a fight. I mean, c’mon, you saw the documentary son, he’s a goon lol…