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2005: FLOSS MAGAZINE – In A League of His Own

June 23, 2008

Floss_sm1.JPGWinter/Spring 2005 — Toronto Raptors 6’8" small forward, weighing in
at 217 lbs, Jalen Rose has been acknowledged for being one of the most
versatile and devoted players in the NBA. You may recall his earlier
days as a leader on the court for the University of Michigan’s infamous
"Fab Five", a member of the Denver Nuggets as well as the Chicago
Bulls; Michael Jordan’s "championship kingdom". Today Jalen, the
youngest of four children, hopes to continue to persevere in the league
and uphold the respect of his teammates, coaches and most importantly
his loyal fans. Named "99-00" Most Improved Player, Jalen Rose is
prepared to make the "04-05" season a memorable one to remember.

On Character:
Basketball has always been in my blood. It’s always been my passion and
it’s something that I got down on my knees and prayed for every day and
every night. I understand to take the good with the bad and I accept
it. Nothing could fulfill me as much as basketball; I’d be lying to say
that it would. I’ve never been a player whether fortunate or
unfortunate to just have the red carpet treatment to where all I had to
do was show up and those things are going to be handed to me; whether
press wise or media wise or opportunity wise. I’ve always had the mind
frame that I have to go take it and that’s still how I feel, still
hungry and still thirsty. Being a veteran in the league, I’ve been
around the block, understanding what it takes to be a player, and what
it takes to win. I have a leadership role and then a production role.
I’ve learned to play small forward and have success doing that. So just
that versatility and to go out and do my best, bring a swagger and a
attitude that I’ve been known for playing with since my days at the
University of Michigan and the Fab Five.

On Winning/Challenges:
Winning a championship is basically the only important thing and with
that comes the other individual stuff. Every player wants to be the
best, every player wants to be an MVP. Every player wants to be an All
Star and that’s why you get out there and make the sacrifices and
stuff. Championship ought to put you in the position to get appreciated
and from that all that other stuff just happens. When you love
something then that makes the sacrifice worth it. It makes all of the
pain from after the game; when your knees might be sore, your back
might be soar, your emotions may be bruised, you may have a good game
but the team still lost or you may have had a bad game and the team
lost or maybe a good player on a bad team; there are all kinds of
scenarios that mentally you have to deal with. Even people that are
your supporters sometimes they may be with you everyday, so they
realize what it’s like to have to go places, and sometimes always be on
and take pictures or autographs-the things that come with the
territory. And then the physical angle is people having to get up and
go to the gym and train everyday. It’s different when you go to the gym
to train to be a pro athlete and then you’ve got to have the skills to
go with that training and you still have to harness the skills and
harness your all around ability; whether it’s dribbling, passing or
shooting. With all of the things that come with it and still you’ve got
to be productive. You’ve got to deal with the media and you’ve got to
deal with the fact that being an athlete sometimes people underestimate
the sacrifice and the discipline that we have to have. They think okay
if you just show up at the game, have a good jump shot; I could do that
in my backyard. It’s much more than that. If it was that easy then
there would be much more than 400 players in the NBA.

On Status:
I consider myself the best player in the NBA. I can’t name one person
that makes me feel like, ‘Okay, because he’s saying or doing that,’
that makes me want to say or do that. I’ve always been in a fortunate
situation to either be a leader or be a trendsetter. I’ve had a great
situation that’s going to continue to get better and I still feel like
some of my best days on and off the floor are in front of me. I’ve
found a way to not only be a good ball player but also do other things
well on my platform. Whether it’s trying to be a good philanthropist,
whether it’s trying to chase the days when I went to school for radio,
TV and film. I’m trying to be a Jack-of-all-trades. I’ve done a lot of
things so I’m going to continue to do that.

On Relationships:
All we have is our ability and our name so you’ve got to do what you
can to protect both of them. You’ve got to have everything in
perspective at the end of the day. You’ve got to have some organization
for what you’re trying to do and the method to your madness. I’ve been
a person who’s been out and around the block. I’ve been in the league
for ten years so I’ve seen it all and been through it all. I’m not
married but I’ve got a four-year-old biological daughter named Mariah.
Being in a relationship does not necessarily take away from you. I
guess you just have to find the right person that doesn’t take away
from you (laughs). I haven’t found the right person yet! Being a pro
athlete is whatever comes with the territory. You run into people-men
and women who have your best interest at heart and vice versa and those
that don’t. At the end of the day I’m going to be in control of my
scenario and I’m not going to allow somebody else to dictate how I
should be doing what I’m trying to get accomplished. You’ve got to be a
good judge of character and watch the situations you put yourself in
because unfortunately, you know, one bad situation or one bad
opportunity can damage you.

On Flossin’
I’ve got to represent ultimate flavor! You know you got to touch on all
bases, and you’ve got to have it tight from head to toe- from hat to
shoe. I don’t know if it’s the Detroit in me because the trend is- we
like to be about our flavor or just that I’m Jalen Rose and I’m about
my flavor. I’m definitely about style, definitely about my looks; I’m
definitely about my flavor. Just because you’ve got money that doesn’t
mean you know what to buy or when to buy it. That’s the biggest
misconception. You’ve got to know your look. It’s kind of like being a
woman. If a woman wants to showcase her butt she’s going to wear a
certain type of pants or if she wants to show some cleavage, she’s
going to wear a certain type of shirt.