Remembering The Fab Five

Love them or hate them, there’s no denying the impact Michigan’s Fab Five had on college basketball and the culture of basketball in general. Which is why an ESPN documentary airing at 6 p.m. Sunday should make for compelling TV.

At least this story makes it sound compelling.

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

In an interview with ESPN’s “First Take” on Tuesday, Rose clarified that his comments were how he felt as an 18-year-old, but he didn’t back off them entirely.

“Certain schools recruit a typical kind of player whether the world admits it or not. And Duke is one of those schools,” he said. “They recruit black players from polished families, accomplished families. And that’s fine. That’s OK. But when you’re an inner-city kid playing in a public school league, you know that certain schools aren’t going to recruit you. That’s one. And I’m OK with it. That’s how I felt as an 18-year-old kid.”

The question is whether Jalen Rose now would have recruited an 18-year-old Jalen Rose. I haven’t seen the documentary, but I have read Mitch Albom’s book “Fab Five” a couple times. In the book, Rose comes off as a petulant, spoiled, obnoxious punk. He’s about the last guy I would have expected to become a network commentator, let alone a pretty good one.

Of course, Rose is not alone in being an obnoxious 18-year-old and eventually growing out of it. It’s called maturity. But I’m not surprised Mike Krzyzewski didn’t recruit him at the time.

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