PennStateHoops.com Discussion Forum

OT - Grant Hill's response to the Fab 5 documentary


#1

Just saw this after Nantz referenced it. Grant Hill responds

My mom’s been a Duke fan since Gene Banks matriculated there in 1977. She’s at the Michigan game right now. I’ve liked Duke but I loved the Fab 5 and was sorry when some were found to be on the take. Big time.

Grant Hill’s measured yet passionate response is a beautiful thing. I haven’t seen the documentary (forgot to DVR it), but I hope to.

If anyone responds to this thread, please remember that race is an incendiary topic and it is difficult if not impossible to express nuance effectively with the written word!


#2

I guess I’d need to see the show before I could ingest Hill’s response, but it was well thought out response that avoided any kind of heat of the moment tone that op-eds often have.


#3

Saw the movie and read Grant’s response… and I feel both men should talk it out and leave the past in the past.

When Jalen was talking about Grant and calling Duke was a bunch of Uncle Toms, he was talking about how he felt as a teenager, about how Grant had a stable (financially and emotionally) family while he was upset that his dad didn’t want anything to do with him and how his mom struggled to make ends meet.

However, Jalen’s anger about his situation gave him a negative view about Grant, considering that he was on a team with very talented white players that several blacks (including me at the time) thought were overrated and soft. I think if anyone asks Jalen about how he feels about Grant, Coack K and Duke, he wouldn’t hold those same feelings, at least I hope he wouldn’t.

Another thing, I really think it’s time to retire the “Uncle Tom” phrase. African-Americans now use it to portray their own who sound or dress white, instead of the so-called real meaning, which is one who does something to betray his/her own race. Both meanings have no real use in this moment of time because of diversity of where you live and the people you interact with. And there’s no real way to betray being black anymore, unless you join the KKK or something. And I don’t think they’ll be doing that anytime soon.


#4

There seems to be two parties in this situation. A) those who think Jalen Rose was degrading Hill and the other African American players on Duke for calling them what he did and B) those who think Rose was clear that he was just jealous of how flawless Hill’s family seemed and it was just youthful ignorance, or whatever you want to call it.

I deduced this from reading through some of the comments on the Yahoo article. When I saw the documentary, I didn’t really hang on every word that Rose said, so I would have to re-watch to really decipher what he was trying to say.

Its also important to note that I read somewhere that Jalen contacted Hill and apologized before the documentary was released… sound bites can sometime misconstrue what the interviewee is trying to say.

I’m probably in the “B” party without any further “investigating”.

That being said, Hill’s response was very well written and very diplomatic. Classy response.

On another note, I thought the documentary was pretty good, especially since I watched it AFTER the UNLV documentary - which was only an hour. If the UNLV documentary were two hours long, it would have been equally as good.


#5

I did watch the documentary and I did read Grant Hill’s response.

What I got from Jalen’s feeling towards Grant Hill was that Jalen was envious. He had a hard upbringing, while Hill had it much easier. Jalen wanted the life that Grant had. I’m not sure that Jalen wanted to go to Duke, but at the time I’m sure he was just upset that his father didn’t want anything to do with him and his mother had to work so hard.

I can also see where Jalen is coming from about his feelings towards Duke. I wouldn’t go as far as saying if you’re black and you go to Duke you’re an Uncle Tom. Me, being black myself, Duke never really appealed to me. I just always saw it as a school that would get the best collection of white players that it could, and I’m sure Jalen saw it that way. I’m sure a lot of what Jalen spoke of is how he felt back when he was a teenager.

I do like Grant’s response, it was very well written. I do think education is very important. Both Jalen and Grant went to great schools.


#6

Jalen was an executive producer. He had the power to change the film if he thought it was incorrect or would be received in the wrong way. He also contacted Hill BEFORE the film went out, so he knew it was an issue when it was still “in the can”.

Of course, I bet the ratings for the film wasn’t hurt by all the controversy :wink: I saw it was on again over the weekend.


#7

[quote=“MarkH, post:6, topic:2219”]Jalen was an executive producer. He had the power to change the film if he thought it was incorrect or would be received in the wrong way. He also contacted Hill BEFORE the film went out, so he knew it was an issue when it was still “in the can”.

Of course, I bet the ratings for the film wasn’t hurt by all the controversy :wink: I saw it was on again over the weekend. [/quote]

Bingo…Jalen Rose produced the documentary and could have easily made it VERY CLEAR that he had feeling when he was 18 years old, BUT NOW…there was no BUT NOW and that is the issue. It could have been used as a teaching moment but it wasn’t. Rose know what he was saying and how it would be played out and didn’t do anything about it. Whether that was for ratings or because he still harbors some resentment, either way it was wrong.


#8

A well thought out response by Hill…and I believe a response was necessary.

There’s an old Russian proverb that tells the story of a farmer and his neighbor. Upon buying a new cow, he tells his neighbor of his fortune at getting the beast at a great price, that it comes from hardy stock, and should provide his family enough milk through the winter. His neighbor says nothing, so the farmer goes home. Later that evening he hears a loud gunshot in the back of his house…rushing out he finds his neighbor standing over the corpse of his now dead new cow with a shotgun cradled in the crook of his arm. When the farmer in stunned amazement asks why he did this terrible thing, the neighbor replied, “Because you had a cow and I did not.”

At fortyish years of age Jalen should’ve been beyond shooting his neighbors cow. Instead of using his own story as an example of a poor kid making good, and the amount of work he put in to achieve his goals, and that it’s possible for anyone who works hard to find success…he chose instead to demean publicly a gifted and talented human being who, to my knowledge, had never done anything to him (beyond being a part of a team that never lost to Michigan). Worse, in so doing he perpetuated a stereotype that, as one poster mentioned, is no longer relevent (nor should it EVER be again) to today’s lessons in group relations (unless one uses as a ‘what not to say/do’ type of lesson).

+1 to Grant Hill


#9

I might got better insight because Rose and King were on Espn’s First Take show before and after the show. Jalen had clarified that his issue was more with Duke’s Recruiting practices then kids that go there now. It seem Duke still recruit the same suburbanite, private schooled African-American kid and not giving opportunities to urban, public schooled kids like when the fab 5 was in school that has equal or better academic qualifications.

Just check the bio’s of the current Duke African-American players, its rather interesting to see the details of personal info.


#10

Dean Smith got in trouble one year for pointing out that his kids had higher SATs than Duke’s heralded student-athletes. Duke definitely recruits a certain type of kid, but one of the most insightful things I read about recruiting was at least 20 years or so ago from a college coach who said: “You want to know what kind of team you’re going to have in a few years? Look at your current team.”

Kids are going to go where they feel most comfortable with the other kids. That’s why I’m ok with ED recruiting who he wants in terms of “second chances”. They’re not going to show up here unless they want to fit in with the kids we have.


#11

Two issues here…

First, kudos to Grant Hill and his eloquent response. I did a piece once with Hill and Joe Dumars during Grant’s rookie year with the Pistons and came away extremely impressed with how Grant Hill carried himself. He was a lot more mature than many of his contemporaries playing the game at that time, save for the man who took him under his wing that rookie season, Joe Dumars himself, as they were equals.

Second, when I hear ESPN and the words “executive producer”, I have to harken back to my days as a producer on the SportsCentury series. I once helped produce a show on the great Bonnie Blair for SportsCentury and when it was pretty much in the can, the “executive producer” came back and said, “doesn’t she have any dirt on her?” I go back on him and say, “this is Bonnie Blair you’re talking about. She probably has never had a bad thought in her life, let alone done anything bad.” And he comes back to me and says (are you sitting down?)…“then why did we do a show on her?” i was left speechless, but finally realized, after doing shows for almost two years, their true motive. To dig up dirt and ratchet up the ratings. ESPN loves this stuff. Whether Jalen Rose really meant to say this and put this in the show, because that is what he and his other Fab Five folks thought back when they were in college themselves, one can only guess. But I can certainly see where there were a ton of suits running around the hallways in Bristol, CT saying, “oh you have to tell us this and we have to put it in the show, it will be great”.

I personally have to find the show again and go back and listen to Jalen’s comments to see for myself whether it was something he believed back in the day or if it’s something that he still feels today. My feeling is that because he took the extra steps to contact Grant and his parents prior to the show’s release, that there was some pressure from above that made sure Jalen told that story and made sure it did not hit the cutting room floor.

FTR, I don’t know Jalen Rose, though I’ve met him a few times before. Seemed fairly quiet and reserved to me, which is not saying anything good or bad about him. But I can speak on both Chris Webber and Juwan Howard who were always very cordial to me and who I felt always carried themselves very well as professional athletes. I think when you get a group of like-minded kids together, their personal beliefs sometimes come from group beliefs, sort of a peer pressure thing, and maybe this was what was going on during their days as the Fab Five. Because once they got to the NBA and were on their own, so to say, I saw none of the Fab Five behavior, which is why the three of them had long and successful pro careers.


#12

NI, thanks for the insight. I think it’s hard to imagine who is driving the work, the executive producer, the producer or the director. The executive producer is financing and making sure it succeeds. The director probably has the most impact on the actual product. The producer makes it all happen. Is that your take, NI?


#13

Thanks for the post NI.


#14

Tim,

It’s different for different types of shows…

In a nutshell…as the producer for the SC shows, I was sort of producer/director and did all the interviews and shot all the b-roll (with the assistance of a real cameraman, which I am not:-), and had carte blanche from ESPN to tell my own story and put it together as I see fit. Where the coordinating producer came in was when it came to the overall script of the show. If they liked it, they let me go on my way. Then the higher ups ("executive producers, the senior writer and the like) got involved when they started seeing the product develop and each of them, not sure how many cooks in that kitchen to tell you the truth, since I never really worked out of Bristol, would put their “two cents” in and I had to either change it to their liking or prove to them why I like it the way it is (in other words, change it to their liking :)). Though I did win some small battles on some of my shows, once they saw the method to my madness.

To their credit, they had a model and it worked. And even the best producer in the land was not going to mess with their model. And in the end, wouldn’t you know, it came out being a great show regardless.

As for controversy, the more sh-t you could shovel their way, the better. And that was with every documentary I produced for them. It didn’t all have to be shocking stuff, just something to get a rise out of the audience, or an “oh wow, I never knew that before”. But they loved to stir the pot then as they do now.

Personally, I take everything I see in these things with a grain of salt, knowing some of the background behind their methods. Sure if someone came out and called me an “Uncle Tom” if I were African-American, I’d probably have some reaction. But I always look at the source before I act nowadays, and that just comes from experience.


#15

[quote=“PSUdraw, post:9, topic:2219”]I might got better insight because Rose and King were on Espn’s First Take show before and after the show. Jalen had clarified that his issue was more with Duke’s Recruiting practices then kids that go there now. It seem Duke still recruit the same suburbanite, private schooled African-American kid and not giving opportunities to urban, public schooled kids like when the fab 5 was in school that has equal or better academic qualifications.

Just check the bio’s of the current Duke African-American players, its rather interesting to see the details of personal info.[/quote]

The irony is unbelievably think.

Jalen Rose bashes Duke for only recruiting suburbanite kid and not taking a chance on kids like the Fab 5… …meanwhile, the Fab 5 had to forfeit their wins for ended up being an embarassment to the university.


#16
I might got better insight because Rose and King were on Espn's First Take show before and after the show. Jalen had clarified that his issue was more with Duke's Recruiting practices then kids that go there now. [b]It seem Duke still recruit the same suburbanite, private schooled African-American kid and not giving opportunities to urban, public schooled kids like when the fab 5 was in school that has equal or better academic qualifications. [/b]

Just check the bio’s of the current Duke African-American players, its rather interesting to see the details of personal info.

The irony is unbelievably think.

Jalen Rose bashes Duke for only recruiting suburbanite kid and not taking a chance on kids like the Fab 5… …meanwhile, the Fab 5 had to forfeit their wins for ended up being an embarassment to the university.

And the fact that they got Chris Webber from Detroit Country Day School. http://www.dcds.edu/
Not exactly Cooley High.

To add to that, met Webber’s parents when he was with the Bullets/Wizards and they (both mom and dad) were very nice and very supportive. Sort of similar to the kids/parents that Duke recruits ;).

EDIT: I take this back in a way. Jalen seems to be talking solely about his case…that Duke wouldn’t touch a kid like him from his background, and he might have a point. But they recruited Webber very heavily and for anyone who knows Webber and his background, I would think that any and every school would have wanted his services. As for Michigan, it seems they don’t “discriminate” as to the background of the kid, as long as he’s a good student…well…that one’s up for debate as well I’m sure. :slight_smile:


#17

Duke recruited the heck out of Webber. He had it all - NBA skills, smarts, great school.


#18

Yes Tim…The “they” in “they recruited Webber very heavily” in my previous post refers to Duke and not Michigan, just to be clear.


#19

It’s a bit ironic to me when you compare the two sides of this thing… Rose comes off as exactly the person he seems like he was angry to be stereotyped as (reckless, ignorant, jealous), while Hill represents himself and all the guys Rose was throwing under the bus with him as a well-spoken, mature MAN.

I do believe that Rose was simply talking about how he felt back then, but it’s unfortunate he or the director didn’t make this more clear to the viewers. Regardless, I believe a lot of young black men still feel this way about schools like Duke which is a shame.

Duke is a pretty amazing institution and should be applauded in this day and age of college athletics. I don’t believe Coach K is avoiding players from poor households or single-parent families as much as he is looking for players who can succeed in his program, at a difficult school with very high demands… and I think after he got burned a few times in the early part of last decade he decided he was only going after players that were going to give him their word they were there for at least 3-4 years.

The John Wall’s of the world are great players but I don’t think K has any time for guys who are just looking to play for 1 season. I have a feeling that’s much more of the issue than anything else. That and perhaps the grades of some of these guys. Not too many dummies getting into Duke, even on the bball team.