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AnnArbor.com – Former Michigan basketball star Jalen Rose settles into his new career on TV

January 28, 2010

JRose_BHurley1992He stood in the second row, arms waving, trying to encourage the Michigan basketball team he used to play for and the rest of the fans inside Crisler Arena on Tuesday night against Michigan State.

Jalen Rose hasn’t played for Michigan since 1994. Yet when he stepped inside the arena, he instantly became the most well-known current or former player inside.

Former Michigan basketball star Jalen Rose, right, works against Duke’s Bobby Hurley in 1992. (File photo)
Rose enjoys his returns to Ann Arbor.

“It’s awesome,” Rose said at halftime of Michigan State’s 57-56 win over Michigan. “A lot of fond memories. It’s great to see the fans, the players. I’m immersed in the game working with ESPN and playing in the pros and covering sports.

“It’s an exciting time.”

Even though Rose has only been retired from the NBA for a little over two seasons, he’s seemingly been a television analyst forever. In 2001, Rose joined Fox Sports Net’s “Best Damn Sports Show Period” and worked for the show for six years until he retired in 2007.

Then, looking for a more full-time role, he became an analyst for ESPN/ABC – a place he still works as he’s discovered his second career.

“I got lucky,” Rose said. “Because while I was playing 13 years, I was doing 6, 7 years in the media. Now, I look up and this is my eighth, ninth year and I’ve only been retired two or three, so it worked out real well.

“The transition has been a great time.”

It has also allowed Rose to be able to compare decisions with former Michigan star and his longtime friend, Chris Webber, who is an NBA analyst for TNT. They may work for competing networks, but the two have known each other since middle school before both heading to Michigan as part of the Fab 5.

Now, jokes and conversations, especially about the NBA, often come over e-mail.

“We disagree about topics, and I see him picking certain players for the All-Star team and whatever, I send him an e-mail disagreeing politely,” Rose said. “We don’t argue. We just have our opinions and keep it moving.”

As for this year’s Michigan team – Rose still sees the potential for positives despite a 10-10 record.

“The story remains to be seen,” Rose said. “It’s still to be written, really. We still can be a team that can make noise in the tournament if we’re knocking down shots and expand on what we did last year.”

By: Michael Rothstein – AnnArbor.com Staff
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