Mike Krzyzewski reacts to Jalen Rose
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."
[The Fab Five] had a heck of a run but, they didn't leave anything, they didn't establish anything there.” -- Duke coach 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.
Jalen Rose Arrested
ESPN analyst and former NBA and Fab Five standout Jalen Rose was arrested in early March on suspicion of drunken driving. Story
"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."
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."