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New York Times: Like A Boss – Jalen Rose’s N.B.A. Finals Diary: ‘I Can’t Wait for the Game’

October 16, 2020

The ESPN analyst is enthralled by the 2020 series, with players isolating and “Black Lives Matter” painted on the court.

Oct 2, 2020 – By Katherine Rosman

Even in a pandemic, Jalen Rose gets his hair cut about twice a week. He likes to look sharp when he’s on TV, and these days, he and his well-groomed head are highly visible. From the basement of his house in Connecticut, the ESPN analyst and former N.B.A. player tapes “Jalen & Jacoby,” his afternoon talk show with the commentator David Jacoby. And at ESPN’s studio at the South Street Seaport in Manhattan, he helps anchor “NBA Countdown” before and during halftime of N.B.A. games — including the championship finals, which started this week between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Miami Heat.

Mr. Rose also has a new weekly column and podcast for The New York Post, and he makes frequent appearances on ESPN’s morning show, “Get Up.” His wife, Molly Qerim Rose, is a moderator for the network’s “First Take,” which means they have to share the home studio. “I need to dominate the morning before 10 a.m.,” Mr. Rose said, “because she’s live from 10 to 12 and I need to get out of the basement.”

Mr. Rose arrived on the national scene as a member of the University of Michigan’s famed 1991 “Fab Five” recruiting class, which also included Chris Webber, the future All-Star, and Juwan Howard, who now coaches the Michigan team, and whom Mr. Rose recently hit up for an appearance on his show. In his 13-year pro career, Mr. Rose played for six N.B.A. teams, including the Indiana Pacers and New York Knicks.

On the air, in addition to game commentary, Mr. Rose addresses the social and political moment. “It’d also be a great day to arrest the cops that murdered Breonna Taylor!” Mr. Rose said on the air during Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals, several hours after Kentucky’s attorney general announced that no police officer would be charged criminally with her death.

“I’m not going to force topics, but I’m not going to run from them, either,” Mr. Rose said in an interview.

He grew up in Detroit, and 10 years ago, he co-founded the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy, a public, nonprofit charter high school in the city, whose graduates continue to get financial, academic and emotional support when they move on to college.

6:30 a.m. I was up early talent-booking and story-lining. I called the head coach of the University of Michigan basketball team and said, ‘Coach, can you come on ‘Jalen & Jacoby’?” Juwan was a player and a coach in Miami with LeBron James; I was in the locker room celebrating with them one year. So I thought I’d ask Coach Howard to talk about Pat Riley and LeBron — and maybe we can have some talk about injustice. We’ll see.

8 a.m. I did my run-walk thing at a track about a mile and half from my house — I ran a few laps and walked a few laps. Then I did some push-ups, a little calisthenics. Nothing too Men’s Health, I’m just trying to live to 103 like Grammie did.

10:30 a.m. I did “Jalen & Jacoby,” and after that I worked on my New York Post column. The new piece is about back-to-school and how the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy scholars are learning remotely for a couple of months. There is a large portion of the population that doesn’t have the internet and doesn’t have access to laptops. Arn Tellem, the vice chairman of the Pistons, provided laptops to every one of our scholars.

3 p.m. Errands. I had to go to UPS and also grab cashier’s checks for a couple of gentlemen who drive for me. I was in my Jeep with the top off, at a red light, and I look up — and there’s a man leaning out of a third-floor window. He said, “I like the new column,” and I was like, “All right!”

9 p.m. We watched “Monday Night Football,” with the Kansas City Chiefs and the Baltimore Ravens. I made popcorn, real popcorn. No microwave popcorn, oh, no.

10:30 a.m. I did “J & J,” with Juwan Howard on. It’s a dream come true to look back at our evolution from young men to adults, just appreciating the journey and the obstacles we’ve overcome together and separately.

12:30 p.m. I had lunch with my wife at home. I made us lobster — I am a lobster-tail eating fool. I do a little oven/grill hybrid. I’m a diva about leftovers. I won’t have them after 24 hours. After being poor, I earned that right. I grew up only having leftovers and sugar water.

2 p.m. I drilled down on my New York Post responsibilities. Because this is the first week I have the podcast, I really need to put some work in, booking some talent. I got Cedric the Entertainerbooked and Angela Yee from “The Breakfast Club.”

3:30 p.m. This is my rest and recovery period every day. Today, I went to get a pedicure. My feet were so bad, it was like snowflakes were falling off the bottom. I had to give an extra tip. I like to sit in the massage chair, pay for the foot massage, return a couple texts. No polish.

9 p.m. I watched the presidential debate. I am really into this stuff, much more than the average person. Let me tell you something — wow. My major takeaway, as a taxpaying citizen and a knowledgeable voter, is that our commander in chief failed to denounce white supremacy.

6 a.m. Game day. I made calls, did a little exercise and took a steam, sprayed some Vicks VapoRub, did a little meditating, thinking and praying.

9:35 a.m. I did a spot for “Get Up,” to preview tonight’s “Countdown” and Game 1 of the N.B.A. finals.

2:30 p.m. I get my hair cut on days I have “Countdown,” and today I did it in a little barbershop area in my man cave at home. Andy Authentic has been my barber for six years. He’s not my stylist. He’s my barber, my surgeon.

4 p.m. I headed to the city. I don’t need to be at the studio until 6 p.m., but I don’t like to be rushing — I like to sit and take notes and write down my bullet points.

7:30 p.m. Preshow meeting with the “Countdown” team.

8:30 p.m. The show. I was not nervous. Enthusiastic, like a kid at Christmastime. I can’t wait for the game. I idolize the current N.B.A. players for what they’re doing right now — the ultimate dual sacrifice to act as champions for social justice and to complete a regular season and playoffs amid a pandemic. I so appreciate Adam Silver (the N.B.A. commissioner), Michele Roberts (the executive director of the N.B.A.’s players’ union) and Chris Paul(the president of the union).

They’ve got “Black Lives Matter” written on the court. That means something. What the N.B.A. is showing me is that incremental progress is happening.

9 p.m. We watch the game in what we call a war room, just off the studio. We sit on couches and comfortable chairs, and we all give our unfiltered analysis. Then producers come in to find out what we want to talk about at halftime. For me, the Lakers seemed to be in an altogether different weight class than the Heat. Then, in the second half, it’s rinse and repeat.

1:30 a.m. The Lakers beat the Heat, 116-98. The game didn’t end till after midnight, and I got home about an hour later. Red wine; got to decompress from the day. I got the steam shower going. I called my producer for “Jalen & Jacoby,” and we talked for a half-hour. Then I steamed, prayed, meditated and stretched before bed.

5:15 a.m. My wife woke up for work, and it’s hard to stay asleep when the person who is in charge of the house doesn’t tiptoe. I curled into the fetal position and slept for another 43 minutes.

9 a.m. I was in the studio for my “Get Up” spot, but then there was breaking news about the Titans-Steelers football game getting postponed this weekend because of Covid-19. This may be important to the N.F.L., but it’s more important to me because I play in a big fantasy football league. The Warriors’ Draymond Green is in the league. Maverick Carter, LeBron’s business partner, is in it. I needed to reach out to the commissioner. That’s really important. I need to know what happens when games get canceled. He said he’s going to circle back to me.

11 a.m. I did my podcast interview with Angela. As popular as she is, Angela is really underrated. Hip-hop is not an easy world for women, not simple for women to succeed. There’s a lot of sexism.

12:30 p.m. On the phone with DJ Premier. I asked him if I could get permission to use “Come Clean,” which he produced, for the theme music on the podcast. He said yes, and I got to chat with him for about 30 minutes.

7 p.m. Another podcast interview, this one with Cedric. See, I am rolling them out! I am about providing quality content to the consumer!

8:20 p.m. I had to watch “Thursday Night Football” even though I knew it was going to be a terrible game, because the New York Jets are terrible (they were 0-3) and the Broncos are terrible (they were also 0-3). It’s my job, so I watched, but this game did not merit popcorn. I ate my Detroit-made Better Made BBQ potato chips.

Katherine Rosman is a features reporter on the Styles desk. She covers media, the business of fitness, and the politics of gender. She joined The Times in 2014.

Full Article: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/02/business/jalen-rose-nba-work-diary.html?searchResultPosition=1