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Grant Hill fires back at Fab Five

Mar 16, 2011, 4:33 PM EST

Sacramento Kings v Phoenix Suns Getty Images

Jalen Rose and Grant Hill came from very different places. Still do.

In the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary about Michian’s Fab Five, Jalen Rose (a member of that team and current ESPN NBA analyst) said this about Duke and Grant Hill (now of the Phoenix Suns).

“Schools like Duke didn’t recruit players like me. I felt that they only recruited black players that were Uncle Toms. … I was jealous of Grant Hill. He came from a great black family. Congratulations. Your mom went to college and was roommates with Hillary Clinton. Your dad played in the NFL as a very well-spoken and successful man. I was upset and bitter that my mom had to bust her hump for 20-plus years. I was bitter that I had a professional athlete that was my father that I didn’t know. I resented that, moreso than I resented him. I looked at it as they are who the world accepts and we are who the world hates.”

Rose is talking about who he was, what he thought then as an 18-year-old. But as you might imagine Hill took that pretty hard and responded in the New York Times today.

It was a sad and somewhat pathetic turn of events, therefore, to see friends narrating this interesting documentary about their moment in time and calling me a bitch and worse, calling all black players at Duke “Uncle Toms” and, to some degree, disparaging my parents for their education, work ethic and commitment to each other and to me. I should have guessed there was something regrettable in the documentary when I received a Twitter apology from Jalen before its premiere. I am aware Jalen has gone to some length to explain his remarks about my family in numerous interviews, so I believe he has some admiration for them….

To hint that those who grew up in a household with a mother and father are somehow less black than those who did not is beyond ridiculous. All of us are extremely proud of the current Duke team, especially Nolan Smith. He was raised by his mother, plays in memory of his late father and carries himself with the pride and confidence that they instilled in him….

Just as Jalen has founded a charter school in Michigan, we are expected to use our education to help others, to improve life for those who need our assistance and to use the excellent education we have received to better the world….

I caution my fabulous five friends to avoid stereotyping me and others they do not know in much the same way so many people stereotyped them back then for their appearance and swagger. I wish for you the restoration of the bond that made you friends, brothers and icons.

I am proud of my family. I am proud of my Duke championships and all my Duke teammates. And, I am proud I never lost a game against the Fab Five.

  1. thatdude2309 - Mar 16, 2011 at 4:53 PM

    Hill don’t let the doo doo fab 5 get to u they ever won a college championship . Tell them to kiss ur 2 NCAA championship rings. They r just pissed bc they never won anything. look at what the Duke program has won and done for there kids Look at the Fab 5 now they r no where still wishing they had the skills to play hill u r still a starter on a NBA team u r a beast . I respect Howard from the fab 5 he is a hard working NBA player but as far as rose goes he couldn’t make it in the NBA so he wants to bring other people Down

    • fightinmad35 - Mar 16, 2011 at 6:13 PM

      I don’t know if you know but Jalen played 13 season’s in the league.

  2. dysraw1 - Mar 16, 2011 at 5:05 PM

    i dont think jalen was hating,he was just using grant as an example of difference between conventional families & disfuctional

  3. jimsjam33 - Mar 16, 2011 at 5:10 PM

    Jalen ,

    You just got bitch-slapped !

  4. pudgalvin - Mar 16, 2011 at 6:06 PM

    I thought the comments sure seemed like that was only what he thought at the time. I agree that either Rose or the editors didn’t make it completely clear, but it sure seemed like he was talking about the thoughts of a poor,black 18 year old that didn’t know any better at the time.

    I really loved all of Rose’s commentary during the entire show. I thought he was incredibly honest about everything he discussed. It’s a refreshing thing to have some honesty come from athletes instead of the same canned b.s that we usually get.

    And besides, who that didn’t attend Duke doesn’t have the exact same opinion about them?

  5. fightinmad35 - Mar 16, 2011 at 6:12 PM

    Jalen wasn’t hating. He was being honest about his thoughts at that point in his life. He was very precise explaining his upbringing and being jealous of Grant Hill’s life. He didn’t make say anything negative about 2 black parents. He didn’t disparage Grant’s parents for being educated. He was pointing out that his life and parents were not that. His pro athlete father he never knew.. He went on to praise Duke for playing like champions, being the better team. He praised Christian Laettner for being a true baller despite his pretty prep boy image. Jalen’s comments were refreshing and I took no ill meaning from them. Alot of people hated Duke and had those same thoughts that the Fab 5 members have. Some people still do. I think some of you need to go back and re-watch the documentary because if you think Jalen dumped on Duke then you’re dead wrong.

  6. chargerdillon - Mar 16, 2011 at 6:26 PM

    Grant, shut up before you injure yourself! You’re the Ken Griffey Jr. of basketball

    All that potential and you couldnt stay healthy for your life. You used to be my favorite basketball player till i realized i’d never get to watch you play because you were always injured.

    Just fade into bolivian with Mike Tyson already

    • mickdamill - Mar 16, 2011 at 6:46 PM

      You are an idiot, he is 38 years old and one of the premiere defenders in the league. Yeah he had some injuries but he made a great comeback unlike Griffey. Also Tyson isnt Bolivian he’s American.

      • chargerdillon - Mar 16, 2011 at 7:08 PM

        I’m the idiot? Have you ever seen the suns play basketball? The Suns win one way and thats by outscoring their opponent.

        If you knew anything about gambling you’d know one of the safest bets in basketball is to take the Over with the Suns because they play so little defense…..

        He went from being a premiere superstar to a role player, that’s not a comeback.

      • mickdamill - Mar 17, 2011 at 11:39 AM

        Yes you are an idiot! You do realize every team that wins in basketball does so by outscoring their opponent?

        Have you ever watched the Suns play? I realize the team as a whole plays little defense but Grant Hill is asked to guard the best player on the court every night, no matter what position. He’s manages to shut down the premiere scorers in the league night after night.

        Who said anything about gambling or him being a primiere superstar? He is a premiere defender in the league and I stand by my word. Grant Hill is truly a class act. Quit being ignorant and give respect where it’s deserved.

    • rapmusicmademedoit - Mar 16, 2011 at 7:31 PM

      my friend, do you know Grant Hill broke his ankle when he was in Detroit and made the injury worst by playing with the injury while trying to make the playoffs.did you know that Grant took the floor with four other dudes and lost the ncaa championship to Arkansas in his senior year, also take a look at the dunk he threw down in that game on a bad alley hoop pass, incredible.and he has class, dude even play’s the piano, I’m sure if you ask people in the nba they will tell you about him.did you know Mamba tried to get him to sign on with the lakers, he said he wanted to stay and finish with the suns.

  7. goforthanddie - Mar 16, 2011 at 7:30 PM

    The Michigan boys can only come across as bitter whiny little pissants by continuing this argument. Which they are, so it’s fine.

  8. rapmusicmademedoit - Mar 16, 2011 at 7:51 PM

    I think what most readers here and viewers of the documentary miss is that Jalen was speaking as a 18 year old inner city kid, on yesterdays first and ten he said again what you see here is a 18 year old with bad skin and teeth and his view, I’am now a adult and view thing’s a little different.I believe the problem is
    when they called the black players at Duke uncle Toms. They even thought Leattner was a pussy and when he started draining jumpers they had to give him his props, as a minority( not african american) I have to admit they do look for a certain type of player, not white players but a certain type, hey, it is a private school.I have to say I’am a Duke fan, coach K fan, because his player’s do it the right way. Please watch the documentary again but through the eyes of a eighteen year old inner city kid who didn’t have a dad and viewed Duke as a place he couldn’t go and be comfortable.Jalen ironically had the grades to attend Duke 4 0f the 5 would have been able to attend.I do like the fact Jalen accepted responsibility for takeing money from a booster and was upset Chris Webber did not and was not speaking with Chris for many years because he wouldn’t admit that the booster helped many inner city kids, some who could not by sneakers or boots.

  9. jthammerstix - Mar 17, 2011 at 7:15 AM

    Well said grant. I’ll see you in the hall one day.

  10. jthammerstix - Mar 17, 2011 at 7:22 AM

    Ohh for the moron that made the Griffey comparison. Hill is an effective starter at 38. They are both in the top 100 greatest players of their respective sport. You along with everyone in your family is garbage. Get a job dickbag.

  11. eazye76 - Mar 17, 2011 at 8:52 AM

    Love Rose, don’t like Duke, but this was way out of line. Calling Hill a bitch was in very poor taste, but the “Uncle Tom remark crossed the line. I wonder what Jay Williams, Elton Brand, Gerald Henderson think about that. What about the young people at Duke right now?

  12. henryd3rd - Mar 17, 2011 at 11:16 AM

    Noticeable absent from that piece was Cris Webber. He’s never accepted responsibility for his actions, never apologized to his team mates or the University and the only reason he didn’t do time was that that only person who could corroborate his taking money died before the case against him could go to trial. Jalen gave him a pass; but Cris Webber turned out to be the real “Uncle Tom”

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