Jalen Rose and the Fab Five used the huge platform of ESPN to tell a story of the iconic Michigan basketball team. Controversy surrounded the special when the Fab Five referred to their Duke rivals as “bitches” and calling the black male basketball players that attended Duke “Uncle Toms”. Grant Hill, a 1994 Duke graduate and current Phoenix Sun, used a large platform of his own, The New York Times, to respond to Rose’s comments. Looks like Hill has gotten the best of the Fab Five, yet again.

I am a fan, friend and longtime competitor of the Fab Five. I have competed against Jalen Rose and Chris Webber since the age of 13. At Michigan, the Fab Five represented a cultural phenomenon that impacted the country in a permanent and positive way. The very idea of the Fab Five elicited pride and promise in much the same way the Georgetown teams did in the mid-1980s when I was in high school and idolized them. Their journey from youthful icons to successful men today is a road map for so many young, black men (and women) who saw their journey through the powerful documentary, “The Fab Five.”

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.

Read the entire response  on the New York Times website.

  • Kevin Buckner

    This is a depressing story line that the media clings to like a dog to a pork chop. The players from Michigan, were talking about how they felt AT THAT TIME…not now. Jalen was honest enough to state that his frustrations were borne out of his own lacking and wanting exactly what Grant had. Jalen also spoke with admiration of how Grant’s mother went to school with Hillary Clinton and that his father was an accomplished pro athlete, while his own mother struggled and he had no relationship with his deadbeat pro father. dang…get it right. PLEASE? Must be a slow news day…finally, the title of this piece is just an attempt to incite, not inform. Shame on you.

  • the truth

    lets just say it like it is. rose and the rest of the fab 5 are biggots that are jealous of the fact that not only was grant hill & company better ball players, they where also more intelligent.

  • Al Kendo

    I beg your pardon!!! Why are you castigating the reporter for writing what someone else said. Grant Hill has the right to his own opinion – AND! – quoting him can hardly be wrong. How can anyone possibly define that as attempting to “incite”. You get it right – Please!

  • Don Quinn

    ESPN stooped to a new low by airing the so called documentary The Fab Five. The only people who thought they were FAB were themselves. Today when blacks frequently play the race card, these thugs were more rascist than anyone I know. Black socks, black shoes, intimidation,gangster rap,vulgar language, poor sportsmanship,illegal payments,drugs, and a general loathing of anyone white or anyone playing with whites. These so called college students rationalized that the University of Michigan was making big money but they were not getting their share. Their share was a paid for college tuition with room and board if they were willing to accept it. Even with the hype and their so called greatness, they never won anything. They were an embarassment to the University of Michigan and to themselves. It is a pity that ESPN would associate itself with such garbage.

    • all state

      you hit it on the nail

  • Dave Martin

    Kevin Buckner, you are exactly right with your comments. Anyone who thinks otherwise either didn’t watch it, is already biased, or is just plain ignorant to what Jalen was actually saying.

  • Latavious Johnson

    Kevin, Dave…if there was nothing wrong, why did Jalen apologize? Why has he went out of his way to explain and apologize…over and over and over again? Slow day in news? Maybe. Clinging to never-was hopes, selling your soul for a little tv show, money, etc. More like it.

  • Jerry Rabe

    I am biased as a Michigan fan. The fab five were a lot of fun to watch. However, I dislike arrogance they displayed – much the same as so many other athletes do today. I enjoy watching for the athletic ability – not the “ridiculous showboating” after a play. It says to everyone, look how good I am!. Bo always put team above all else and had his players in control. That is the example we need to hold up as an example to the youth of today. I had always wished this group could have displayed more maturity. Having said this, the show did communicate feeling such as the perception that companies such as Nike were exploiting them that I was unaware of. Go Blue!!

  • kg

    Grant just confirmed why I’m such a staunch supporter for Coach K and Duke Basketball. It’s hard to find teams that instill pride in their players. Pride that turns them into winners, pride that starts at home and is manifested in the annals of Cameron Indoor Stadium. We’re all accustomed to hearing the negativity surrounding Black athletes on the collegiate and professional level, but you never hear anything about Coach K’s players. Somehow, he and Dean Smith have the uncanny ability of turning boys to men. I salute Grant Hill and the many other players before him and after him that have adorned the Blue Devils jersey. Let’s Go DUKE!!!

    • carolinagrl71

      Being a UNC faithful, I appreciate you adding Dean Smith in your comment. I agree that both Coach K & Smith have done great things for their players on & off the court. I also believe that is true today for UNC as Roy Williams is a Smith prodigy & when Coach K retires , I’m sure Duke basketball will keep his standards. With that being said….GO HEELS !!! 🙂

  • b

    yea the fab five were really fabulous. stupid c-webb calling a timeout and blowing the game. c-webb for the ‘free money’ he was gettin.

  • Mike A

    Jalen’s response was that of an 18 year old inner city youth. Jalen has done so much to repair his image from those Fab Five days. I personally am so proud of Jalen. He was once a brash, out spoken, somewhat arrogant individual, because of the talent he had to put a ball in the hole, but what you see now is a Jalne that so many of us here in Detroit can be proud of. Who of us, hasn’t done or said something many years ago, that if repeated now, would register us as a bigot, racist or otherwise? He sent an apology to Grant before the show aired. The Jalen Rose of 1992 wouldn’t have done that. Believe me when I tell you, Jalen has matured and grown into his role as a professional, father, husband and friend. I respect this Jalen and believe that this documentary was not a reflection of who Jalen is today, but who he was in 1992.

  • Hossridr

    Jalen Rose is just another street hood who was lucky enough to get a Division 1A scholarship. Punks like him are a dime a dozen nowadays. Just products of broken families who have no hope, other than handouts from Uncle Tom.

    • esco

      Jalen Rose is far from a “street hood”

  • N.

    So let me get this straight. The Fab Five are celebrated … for not winning anything? Jalen Rose deserves plaudits … because he grew into a half-way decent human being? What am I missing here?

  • My Name

    Isn’t Grant Hill part robotic now? I thought I saw that his knees were mechanical now from all the injuries. Oh, and the Fab 5 sucks? Right?

    • barney27

      Oh and the Fab Five all still dominate at the NBA level.

  • Welcome to the hypocrasy of Obama World!

  • steve woods

    Welcome to the hypocrasy of Obamaworld!

  • somethingxtra

    Jalen Rose was clearly speaking about a time that happen during his FAB 5 tenure. However, he was apologizing because he knew people would take it out of content. I enjoyed the Fab 5 then and the documentary was one of the best that I have watched i my life. They kept it 100%!


    This story is much to do about NOTHING. The Fab 5 were a cultural phenomenon and that fact can’t be denied. They went farther in two years than any other group of freshmen in college basketball history and their inner city upbringings added flavor to the story.

    Loosen your tight little pretentious schpincters, folks and try to have a little perspective on events that happened nearly 2 decades ago. Jeez!!!

    • Bill Walton said they were one of the most over rated teams in history.(fab five).Which I didn’t agree with at the time,but am understanding his comments a little better.They were touted as the team to beat,but every time it didn’t happen the people use the excuse.Well their only freshman.The great teams did what they were suppose to,win.They may have been a cultural phenomenom,but to me it was the start of college basketball losing its innocence.

  • Jalen Rose didn’t see the documentary, just read the fallout. so heres a guesstament. to disparage anyone who attempts to better oneself is the height of arrogance.. In society today so many blacks are being led to believe that if you are articulate, intelligent, with good manners, you are somehow acting white…. so sad. our schools are failing because most of our students can’t read or write properly.. rap dominates their intelectualism. their heroes are ghetto thugs who are glorified by their money and cars, and ability to be a player. the black community suffers from poor leadership and broken families, primarily absent fathers.. This is nothing to celebrate. To all the guys fortunate to go to duke, great job.. takes grades and athletic ability…. to those guys at michigan, takes great athleticism and average grades. For all your hype as fab five, the name of the game is to win…. YOU NEVER DID. those soft uncle toms at duke kicked your asses. how about focusing on the fact that they were better than you, and instead of disparaging them, apologise to christian, grant, coach k, and anyone else you offended. there are many.. they way You talk, language You use, causes more problems than you can imagine.. A very bad example… not one i would want my kids to emulate.. MAN UP……

  • Bill Walton had said they(fab five)were one of the most overrated teams in college basketball.Which I did’nt agree with at the time,but I’m understanding what he said even more.They(fab five)were touted as the team to beat,but everytime it didn’t happen people would use the excuse they’re only freshman.Great teams did what they were suppose to do,WIN.The fab five may have been a cultural phenomenom,but to me it was the start of college basketball losing its innocence.

  • Anyone, sayin the Fab Five were hoods are PURE IDIOTS… Detroit Country Day isn’t anywhere near Detroit and Chris’ parents did play that sh8t he would have to flip his look when he came to the cities. Jalen wasn’t a hood either… You all are commenting on kids like they weren’t entitled to say off the wall things, or play in a different manner. Allot of old school NBA players were notorious for having off the court antics or even subtle elbows and jabs during games. Jalen has matured because he is OLDER and Chris Web hasn’t one of the most extensive African History artifacts out of probably all of the NBA players combined and was known for reading complex literary works in high school through. In the 90’s Duke was the ‘cookie cutter team’ I remember hearing about how GREAT Cherokee Park was, and Grant Hill.. HUrley i think was a really good player…but really Grant was plagued by injuries, Cherokee didnt’ do sh8t OH and Laettner… Hurley was out due to circumstances out of his control. So in the end… who got the last giggle.

  • Pete


  • brock matthews

    This is a story about the never wases. How can you celebrate continuous failure.

  • Leef8613

    Education prevails again. Racism will never die when we speak negative about our own race, sex, and ethnic background. Youth does have its faults. Ill words and timeouts when you have none to take.

  • I also understand why Grant wrote this but he knows what Jalen was talking about and the truth about venues like Duke where the selection of Black talent is filtered and screened accordingly..

    I wish Grant would have wrote a commentary where he agreed with Jalen about the recruitment of certain types of Black folks in white venues from universities to office in Fortune 500 addresses..

    Yet I know the narrative and creation of Uncle Toms cannot exist without white supremacy and the legacy of white racism in America from slavery to segregation to jim crow, disparate treatment, racial profiling, all manner of contempt for Black folks

    I understand how the racist pathology of white america created wounded Black egos and defensive ones like Grant Hill’s..I understand..I really do..

  • Ryan Jefferson

    I think Jalen spoke from fustration and not from thinking . He should have thought out his responses before answering, Grant Hill is a stand-up guy and he and the others should have not been singled out.

  • I’ve delayed responding to the story, I remember all of them playing against each other. when they were on the court, playing division I ball, you are on equal level, same opportunites, it’s what you make of it, if you had a hard childhood, not it’s your fault and it’s certainly not your opponets either. Grant Hill showed his true character, wonderfully expressed his feeling on the matter. CLASS ACT…. Jalen was a great player and with many supporters, I am so disappointed with how they felt even back then, young men with bright futures ahead of them. The respect will come with what people seen all that you overcome. Now your explaining yourself and lost the respect of alot people. I will not watch the FAB FIVE doc.