Jalen Rose: “I Thought Black Players That Went to Duke Were Uncle Toms”
Jalen Rose has been making the rounds promoting the upcoming documentary on the Fab 5. He speaks on when he was a teenage what he thought about the Duke Blue Devils basketball program.
The Big Lead has the quotes.
“For me, Duke was personal. I hated Duke. And I hated everything I felt Duke stood for. Schools like Duke didn’t recruit players like me. I felt like they only recruited black players that were Uncle Toms.”
“Well, 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 okay. 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 okay with it. That’s how I felt as an 18-year-old kid.”
Most inner city kids including myself felt the exact same way about Duke, back in the early 90’s. Over twenty years later that assumption still bubbles under the surface about Duke.
I could write a 5000 word thesis about The Fab 5, Duke and the cultural impact it had, but to shorten it right or wrong, a lot of people see Duke as a team filled with preppy white boys, mixed in with some Carlton Banks.
It rubs people the wrong way, mainly because they win a lot and good teams with a perceived sense of entitlement will almost stir up emotion.
It is one of those arguments that will never have an ending. Like Biggie vs. Pac, Jay Z vs. Nas, Celtics vs. Lakers and etc.
The documentary comes out on Sunday, I suggest you watch.