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Coach K reacts to Jalen Rose's "Uncle Tom" remarks


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Get 'em Coach K. Pretty strong words about the Fab 5's legacy at Michigan.

espn.com

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski took exception to critical comments that ESPN analyst Jalen Rose made about the school, saying they were "very insulting to everyone here at Duke."

Krzyzewski [The Fab Five] had a heck of a run but, they didn't leave anything, they didn't establish anything there.

” -- Mike Krzyzewski

Rose, as part of an ESPN Films documentary "The Fab Five" that aired March 13 (Rose was an executive producer), said black Blue Devils basketball players recruited in the early 1990s were "Uncle Toms."

"I hated Duke and I hated everything Duke stood for. Schools like Duke didn't recruit players like me. I felt like they only recruited black players that were Uncle Toms," Rose said in the documentary.

Former Duke and NBA star Grant Hill already called the comments "sad and somewhat pathetic."

"Obviously, that was a poor choice of words and very insulting to everyone here at Duke but especially, not just our African-American players, but any African-American students," Krzyzewski said on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000 in Chicago Tuesday. "When you judge within a race, you start judging, like you put categories as to who you are. I think that's just the wrong thing to do."

Krzyzewski said one of the Fab Five could have ended up at Duke.

"We were very successful against them and, to be quite frank with you, we recruited Chris Webber," he said. "I didn't recruit Jalen Rose because we had Grant Hill and I'm happy with that. We didn't look at the other, Juwan Howard [because] we knew he wasn't going to come to Duke. The other two kids we didn't think were the caliber that could play as well as Thomas Hill and Brian Davis and Billy McCaffery. They're good kids. They were good kids."

Waddle & Silvy

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski called "The Waddle Silvy Show" while Jay Williams was co-hosting and discussed the Fab Five documentary as well as the Bulls and Derrick Rose.

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Duke beat the Fab Five in the 1992 NCAA championship game. Michigan made it back to the title game in 1993 but lost to North Carolina.

"They had a heck of a run but, they didn't leave anything, they didn't establish anything there," Krzyzewski said. "The guys that I had established something that Jay Williams continued to do 10 years later -- the standards of what it meant to be a Duke basketball player."

Williams, a college basketball analyst for ESPN, spoke about the topic on ESPN 1000 as well Tuesday. He said that Rose texted him and Hill on the eve of the show and said that his quotes did not pertain to them. When Williams saw the show, he was still unhappy.

"Listen, I know that it's obviously how Jalen reflected upon it when he was a 19-year-old kid," Williams said of the Uncle Tom comment. "But, I think the thing that got a lot of people disgruntled was the fact that he never came out and said, 'Listen, this is not how I feel now' in the documentary."

Williams also said that there is a debate in the African-American community on what it means to be "black." He said he lived in a black neighborhood as a kid but went to a predominantly white school. When he played basketball in his neighborhood he was razzed for "talkin' white."

"How is it to be less black?" he said. "If the definition of an Uncle Tom is me coming from a dual parenting home where my mother and father worked harder for me to receive a better education; if the definition of an Uncle Tom is for me going to a prestigious school like Duke or Harvard or learning how to flow from being in the inner city and also being on TV and in the corporate world, I'll be an Uncle Tom all day long."

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Very nice way of responding by Coach K but I still think it's being overblown.

Rose calling the black players of Duke "Uncle Tom's" needed some type of response and Coach K did it very eloquently. He was right. The didn't leave anything.

Apparently, they didn't learn anything either. Listening to Rose's robotic NBA analysis makes me want to shoot the TV.

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Rose calling the black players of Duke "Uncle Tom's" needed some type of response and Coach K did it very eloquently. He was right. The didn't leave anything.

Apparently, they didn't learn anything either. Listening to Rose's robotic NBA analysis makes me want to shoot the TV.

Yup. Coach K had to respond as well to protect his reputation and Duke's so that african-american recruits will continue to want to play for Duke.

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Jalen Rose gave his opinion. So what. So agree with him others don't. I can see how he felt that way

Duke wants players that are student/athletes, not just athletes. So I guess that makes any black athlete with intelligence a "Uncle Tom"?

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Guest whitestain

Uh, yeah so not sure why my comments were deleted.

But I don't understand the infatuation with the Fab Five.

UNLV was the Fab Five before the Michigan Fab Five was cool. They had the better documentary too.

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Everybody needs to see this whole debate for what it really is.

Does Duke recruit a certain type of kid, absolutely they do. More respect should be given to Coach K. for a recruiting solid young men on and off the field and still produces great results in a tough conference. I'd be thrilled knowing that my coach is not willing to risk his or his school's reputation on a shady character simply to produce a top basketball program.

I'm sure Coach K. would not recruit an Eminem or Eric Ainge type of character either.

The topic should not even be about race but rather about the type of character the kid has.

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Duke wants players that are student/athletes, not just athletes. So I guess that makes any black athlete with intelligence a "Uncle Tom"?

People has always thought Duke was like that. North Carolina and Duke have the sane academic standards. And NC has never been accused of this. Unless you are apart of the recruitment process you wouldn't understand where Jalen is coming from

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People has always thought Duke was like that. North Carolina and Duke have the sane academic standards. And NC has never been accused of this. Unless you are apart of the recruitment process you wouldn't understand where Jalen is coming from

Oh ok, poor Jalen Rose, got recruited by a small Michigan program, poor him. You're right, I can't understand the beef at all. I don't think it takes a college player to understand that Jalens comments were wrong and way out of line. Duke has standards, that should be applauded and not condemned. A type of player like Grant Hill that wants to succeed in the class room as well as on the court shouldn't be victimized by a individual or community for it, but rather praised and looked up to.

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People has always thought Duke was like that. North Carolina and Duke have the sane academic standards. And NC has never been accused of this. Unless you are apart of the recruitment process you wouldn't understand where Jalen is coming from

i don't agree at all and frankly you do not need to be part of the recruitment process to understand where jalen is coming from. that's a copout and a way to discount other opinions of this. i know plenty of guys who have been part of the recruitment process who think jalen rose was 100% wrong and there are many many black athletes who don't agree with jalen at all and they were indeed part of that recruitment process.

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Oh ok, poor Jalen Rose, got recruited by a small Michigan program, poor him. You're right, I can't understand the beef at all. I don't think it takes a college player to understand that Jalens comments were wrong and way out of line. Duke has standards, that should be applauded and not condemned. A type of player like Grant Hill that wants to succeed in the class room as well as on the court shouldn't be victimized by a individual or community for it, but rather praised and looked up to.

yep.. and i can say there are plenty of black athletes who have been part of that recruitment process who believe jalen's comments were dead wrong.. that fab five show was about some bitter players who didn't leave jack at the university and have had the university turn their back on them.. they were angry because they were not champions and instead are considered chumps by many. grant hill and his family and what they were able to do which is something to be applauded and no matter how bitter another player is that does not make that comment right at all.

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Oh ok, poor Jalen Rose, got recruited by a small Michigan program, poor him. You're right, I can't understand the beef at all. I don't think it takes a college player to understand that Jalens comments were wrong and way out of line. Duke has standards, that should be applauded and not condemned. A type of player like Grant Hill that wants to succeed in the class room as well as on the court shouldn't be victimized by a individual or community for it, but rather praised and looked up to.

His comments are his comments. Most people don't even care. He was 17 years old. I'm sure you are perfect and never said or did something that others didn't condone

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People don't realize in college you play games with emotion. When your going to play a school that didn't recruit you of course emotions run wild. You would HATE a school that didn't take you. It just so happen that he found his reason for something that he saw on a personal level, and used it as his fire. As long as the game is played clean and no one takes a shot to hurt another player on the court they could love or hate each other, and that's the truth.

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People has always thought Duke was like that. North Carolina and Duke have the sane academic standards. And NC has never been accused of this. Unless you are apart of the recruitment process you wouldn't understand where Jalen is coming from

Good Lord, if you think UNC is on equal footing with Duke academically then you're in over your head. It's a somewhat of a joke around here that UNC CH is a "diploma mill". Besides that look at the current situation with "tudor-gate" revolving around the football team up there and even one their own Lawrence Taylor is on record saying that UNC teachers changed grades for athletes (not just football players). No way UNC is even in the same zip code as Duke academically.

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Good Lord, if you think UNC is on equal footing with Duke academically then you're in over your head. It's a somewhat of a joke around here that UNC CH is a "diploma mill". Besides that look at the current situation with "tudor-gate" revolving around the football team up there and even one their own Lawrence Taylor is on record saying that UNC teachers changed grades for athletes (not just football players). No way UNC is even in the same zip code as Duke academically.

That post along with the #THREE! video was priceless. Anyways, good points.

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Good Lord, if you think UNC is on equal footing with Duke academically then you're in over your head. It's a somewhat of a joke around here that UNC CH is a "diploma mill". Besides that look at the current situation with "tudor-gate" revolving around the football team up there and even one their own Lawrence Taylor is on record saying that UNC teachers changed grades for athletes (not just football players). No way UNC is even in the same zip code as Duke academically.

Here's the impression I've gotten: UNC Chapel Hill is one of the top flight public universities in our nation, on par with Virgina and the like. Duke is a prestigious private school also with an excellent academic rep that is populated, much like Emory, in large part by kids from the northeastern US who couldn't get into the Ivy League. I'm sure US News & World Report could break it down better, but that's my take. Also, I've heard someone say more than once that they've never met a likeable person from Duke. I think its the whole prep school, I wear a sweater tied around my shoulders, vibe.

Edited by Billy Ocean
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Here's the impression I've gotten: UNC Chapel Hill is one of the top flight public universities in our nation, on par with Virgina and the like. Duke is a prestigious private school also with an excellent academic rep that is populated, much like Emory, in large part by kids from the northeastern US who couldn't get into the Ivy League. I'm sure US News & World Report could break it down better, but that's my take. Also, I've heard someone say more than once that they've never met a likeable person from Duke. I think its the whole prep school, I wear a sweater tied around my shoulders, vibe.

Alot of jersey kids at Duke. ALOT. I love Duke Basketball, but the people that go there are really douchey.

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