2004: THE SOURCE: Trend Setter
June 23, 2008
November 2004 — BEFORE LEBRON JAMES AND SEABASTIAN TELFAIR COMPLETED
THE UNION BETWEEN HIP-HOP AND BASKETBALL, JALEN ROSE WAS BUILDING ITS
Before he even reached the NBA, Jalen Rose had started more fashion
trends then Jay Z. As a member of the University of Michigan’s
legendary Fab Five, the Detroit native helped usher in era of baldies,
super-size shorts and black shoes. Head to toe, the quintet of heralded
freshmen ballers were Hip-Hop way before slang ever made its way on
Sportscenter, which caused friction with certain media outlets at the
time. But through it all, Jalen Rose has remained true to Hip-Hop.
The Source: At what point did you recognize your connection Hip-Hop?
Jalen Rose: When I went to [a concert] in 1992 after our
freshman season. Everyone showed up and it was all love: Hammer, Nice
& Smooth, EPMD, [Queen] Latifah, and Redman. I got to sit in on a
freestyle session with Pac and Treach. I realized the world was
appreciating the influence we brought- street credibility to
basketball. From that, I built a lot of friendships and relationships.
I was wearing EPMD bucket caps and Naughty by Nature skullies at the
During the last few years you’ve been in several music videos right?
I’ve been in about seven or eight. Some of my homies say ‘People gon’
think you a video ho.’ But I’m in it because these are my homies and
they got love for me.
Did you run into opposition because you repped Hip-Hop so hard?
It was either all-the-way love or all-the-way hate. People in 2004 are
privileged. Lloyd Banks can be on ESPN. It wasn’t like that back then.
The way we looked wasn’t accepted then. We were the guinea pigs for
that…It was about winning, love, teamwork, but it was also about the
effect we had on the rest of the world. At the end of the day, whoever
wins the NBA championship is not going to necessarily have influence on
the rest of the world. Yea, we didn’t win the championship and that was
the ultimate goal, but like Mobb Deep says, "Infamy lives a lot
Speaking of an infamous squad, what did you think about Team USA at the Olympics?
They didn’t represent. The team just ain’t get it done. It’s no excuse.
Your mid-range jumper is a monster. Could they have used you?
Oh, no question. That’s how I eat. That little-ass three-point line, I
would have knocked down about 10 of them in a game. That’s easy money.
What happened when Larry Bird became your coach?
He was the No. 1 influence on my pro career. I would have never thought
that, especially since I hated him growing up. I was an Isiah [Thomas]
fan. How ironic is it that those people have a direct influence on my
career. Isiah Thomas is like family. I have a unique situation because
these guys are mentors to me. That’s everything. At the end of the day,
you play ball for people that know the game. You don’t play for the
people that just look at the numbers or the hype. You play for the
legends and pioneers that know the game.