God Bless Jalen Rose

Once upon a time, I didn’t think much of Jalen Rose. I suppose it was his comments about Duke recruiting “Uncle Tom” style black players out of high school like Grant Hill, or his DUI arrest which landed him 20 days in jail and off of ESPN for two week for – ooops! – “forgetting” to tell his employer.

But I have steadily over time found him to be a thoughtful, honest voice on television. Especially so, for an ex-ballplayer. His night-time podcast/radio show “Jalen and Jacoby” is an enjoyable listen.

Well, his stock is rising even higher with me now.

Watch this exchange with Michelle Beadle and Chauncy Billups in the wake of James Harden’s deplorable (non)efforts in the Rockets’ elimination in Game 6.

Oh, Rose “goes there” much to the (feigned?) surprise of Ms. Beadle.

Not only did Harden criminally suck (and not care) while letting the Spurs destroy them on the court, but TMZ got video of him OUT CLUBBING immediately after one of the most shamefully disinterested efforts in NBA history.

And this, by a supposed MVP candidate?

Rose was unflinching in his disapproval, without stepping too far into personal attacks or hot-take land. It was perfect. And while Billups backed him up, I was struck at how totally UN-comfortable Beadle seemed to be at every sentence.

Just listen to her excuses, “yeah-but’s” and “so-what-isms.”

I suppose she might have been coached into playing the “devil’s advocate” on that segment, but I am a pretty good reader of nonverbals. It seemed quite real.

I know Beadle is a fully invested Spurs fan (just read her timeline!) and an unapologetic feminist. It struck me as quite odd that she couldn’t envision what her rage might be like if a Spurs player had done something like this, or that she suggested strip clubs are good places for athletes to go for post-loss “therapy.”

Maybe it’s the new feminism, I dunno.

Maybe she just needs to remain steadfastly non-judgemental of every NBA player in order to maintain her good standing as the coolest chick in the NBA fraternity.

But good for Jalen Rose, who clearly does “get it” and can deliver an unimpeachable condemnation without raising his voice, or waving his arms like a muppet.

About the Author

Steve Czaban is a 25 year sports radio veteran, who hosts an afternoon drive show in Washington D.C. He also appears on "Bob and Brian" in Milwaukee. "Czabe" also writes and edits his own commentaries for www.czabe.com and other on-line and print publications. He can be reached at czabe@yahoo.com.

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