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2006, Nov. 11: East Valley Tribune – Rose quickly makes way into rotation It didn’t take Jalen Ro

June 24, 2008

It didn’t take Jalen Rose long to move into the Suns’ eight-deep rotation: 25 minutes to be precise.

"I’ve been called upon to score big. I’ve been called upon to assist and lead."

For the Suns, he’ll be called upon to put the ball in the hole coming off the bench.

Rose says all the right things about this for a guy making the career transition from prime-time starter to role player.

"At the end of the day, it’s not about me. I’m humbled to be in this
situation," he said In picking the Suns over Miami and hometown
Detroit, Rose cited some basic basketball facts: that the Heat and
Pistons have won the NBA title and the Suns have not.

So Rose could be part of something special if the 1-5 Suns can get untracked.

In fact, Rose, 33, seems to be a bit of a basketball historian. That’s
something you might expect, considering he’s the son of Jimmy Walker,
who was a big-time NBA player in the late 1960s and early ’70s.

"Phoenix fans have been waiting 39 years for it to happen," he said.

"The Suns have been knocking on the door the past two years . . . an
injury here, a missed shot there. I hope this will be the year to kick
the door down."

There are always questions about a player who’s moved around as much as
Rose. But he said his story is just part of modern sports.

"Each situation is different," he said. Often when he’s been traded, "It’s not not been by the guy who brought me in."

As examples, he said, "In Chicago, I got brought in by Jerry Krause. I
got traded by John Paxson. In Toronto, I got brought in by Glen
Grunwald. I got traded by Wayne Embry. I got brought into New York to
play under Larry Brown. And you know how that saga went."

Rose notes he’s never had any problems off the court and that, most of all, "I’ve been productive."

Rose’s inclusion in the rotation won’t help the status of such players as Marcus Banks and James Jones.

Banks signed a five-year, $24 million contract with the Suns to back up Steve Nash. But he’s been inconsistent.

So D’Antoni could go with Rose and Leandro Barbosa if he wants to stick with eight players.

D’Antoni said, "I don’t like to go with nine. But if they’re playing well, they’re going to play."

By Mike Tulumello, Tribune