Jalen Rose On Duke Basketball: “They Only Recruited Black Players That Were Uncle Toms”

- By Bossip Staff

If you grew up in the ’90’s you’re probably familiar with college basketball’s Fab Five, Michigan’s 1991 recruiting class which included Jalen Rose, Jimmy King, Ray Jackson, Chris Webber and Juwan Howard. Rose, King and Jackson appeared on ESPN’s “First Take” Tuesday to discuss their ” 30 for 30″ documentary on the Fab Five that will air on Sunday.

About midway through the “First Take” segment, they played a clip from the documentary in which Rose says:

“For me, Duke was personal. I hated Duke. And I hated everything I felt Duke stood for. Schools like Duke didn’t recruit players like me. I felt like they only recruited black players that were Uncle Toms.”

Asked about the comment, Rose elaborated:

“Well, certain schools recruit a typical kind of player whether the world admits it or not. And Duke is one of those schools. They recruit black players from polished families, accomplished families. And that’s fine. That’s okay. But when you’re an inner-city kid playing in a public school league, you know that certain schools aren’t going to recruit you. That’s one. And I’m okay with it. That’s how I felt as an 18-year-old kid.”

A lot of folks are calling Jalen and his teammates bitter but we actually tend to agree that Duke loves an uppity negro. Calling Grant Hill an “Uncle Tom” ain’t right, but we get it. Duke Basketball is the kind of place where you have to pass a paper bag test, be a bougie black kid with an NBA Daddy or sleep with a white girl to get on the court.


More Stories From Bossip


  • I Am Legend ( Allergic To Darkies)

    LMAO..The Fab 5 was the SHYT

    • http://bossip.com kferad

      I support Inter/racial relationships! I believe love has no color!

      ___________blackwhitedate.c-/0m ____________

      This club is for those of us that don’t discriminate! This is to all my people who don’t care about somebody’s ethnic background, just how they are on the inside.

      If you want to find a sincere Inter/racial relationship. If you are serious. Come and join us!

    • luvurself31

      Yes they were!

    • Sally

      NICE NEWS !
      My friend Vanessa, a 25 yrs lady, has announced her wedding with a m’illionaire young man Ronald who is the CEO of a MNC. It’s amazing, she said she just posted her profile on a m’illionaire d’ating s’ite called ———-RichMatchmaker. ℃○M——– – and received his chat invitations a few days later. Then, everything went so well that I can’t believe it’s true! Every love story will unfold on it’s own..——-
      *streamers fall* *Miss Pearls n Polos walks down the runway* *Mommy and Daddy Pearls n Polos burst wide open with pride*


    so a black person from ” polished families and accomplished families” are uncle toms? WTF. how old is this guy. He needs to grow up.

    • chaka1

      Black people don’t make any sense, I swear…

    • Reality

      Clearly you don’t read…he made that comment when he was 18 years old. He clarified it in his later age by saying (which is true) in that era they were not trying to recruit inner city kids. thats that. Next.

    • AMBER

      @ Reality

      aint no ” next” about it. you and him are both idiots.

    • http://www.pearlsnpolos.com Pearls n Polos

      No amber you dont make any sense, I know first hand they do get into trouble, but they keep those types of incidents out of the news> Trust <

    • jiminey cricket

      @ Amber: WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT??? I see why it is so hard to say something when people constantly take things out of context. I believed he chose the wrong word when saying “uncle toms” but he is right. some schools do this and Duke happens to be one of the main ones. quit grabbing words out of a whole paragraph and just listing them as to be the END ALL BE ALL. I am sure you are smarter than that. if you pay attention to basketball you would understand this.
      @ Chaka1 dont bring all of your skewed views of BLACK PEOPLE on here. not anyone in their right mind would come on here and say something as nefarious as what you say. Jalen rose is a commentator for the NBA. He is pretty good with his opinions about the teams therefore I would READ THE WHOLE STATEMENT and get an idea of what HE IS REALLY SAYING!!!!!

  • from_durham

    So duke recruits have nothing to do with excellent players w/ 3.5 gpa’s? I live here I have experience more racist ish on unc campus than Duke. Coach K recruits team players not show boats

    • DubCgal

      THANK YOU! I HATE going to Chapel-Hill for anything. I even had my daughter @ Duke Hospital! LOL

  • drenk

    accomplished and polished families breed uncle toms?

    • https://bossip.com/337862/tiger-woods-jokes-about-being-selected-first-in-dave-chappelles-race-draft-video69691/ maggie

      A lot of times yes. Some black people do not know how to explore without selling out. This is coming from a black female in medical school.

    • Mel

      @ the black female in medical school: SO the Black kids who didn’t grow up in the inner city are “uncle toms”. What about all the ballers who grew up poor, made a name for themselves, and then abandoned their community…or portray the most negative and stupid stereotypes possible?

      It is beyond stupid to categorically say just because you’re not from the hood you are an uncle tom. Its that kind of thinking that keeps Black Americans in the throws of their OWN oppression.

  • I Am Legend ( Allergic To Darkies)

    What hes basically saying is DUKE would never give a inner city kid a chance..


      Give an inner city player a chance? Its called STANDARDS! Nobody owes you an opportunity in this world,especially if you have not done the work on your end to PREPARE for that opportunity.Duke didn’t recruit Rose o his teammates,because they were looking to get PAID!Not one of the so called Fab 5 would have even qualified academically at Duke. I have already seen the documentary and it is entertaining,but it always amazes me that NONE of these guys ever won a Championship in College or the pros. Webber had a Nice career,Jalen bounced around from team to team,Juwaan Howard was a mediocre player who got a HUGE deal that he still continues to burden teams salary cap with and Ray Jackson and Jimmy King ended up being trivia questions at best.

  • Mrs. Rance

    That is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard in my life. He’s another one of those proud field n*ggas. My nephew was recruited heavily by Duke to play football. I guess it was not only because he is The Truth aka Mike Vick Jr, but because he is an honor roll student. He is not bougie, he is from the hood and his dad is a blue color, salt of the earth type dude. This negro sounds stupid because he is and that is why they didn’t want his dumb azz.

    Anywho, be on the lookout for Miles Shuler at Rutgers next year. He is The Truth!

    • http://www.pearlsnpolos.com Pearls n Polos

      Now talking with that gutter mouth of yours,I questioned what kind of man would marry you? Jesus get it together sister……Seriously

    • jiminey cricket

      this Amber chick got some anger managemnet issues that need to be dealt with. try to remember this one piece of advice amber.. TRY SAYING THINGS ON HERE THAT YOU WOULD SAY TO PEOPLES FACES. you ranting and raving on here calling people names just shows us how much of a scared little girl you are. be real

    • Rational Thinker

      Your nephew was recruited to play FOOTBALL. Duke football is not comparable to Duke basketball. The football program is nowhere near as selective. As someone who has known members of both teams, the football team is definitely NOT above recruiting “goons” and “ghetto hoodrats” (Not saying your nephew is either of those, but your argument is not applicable to this situation).

    • AMBER


  • E$

    I went to school with Daniel Ewing & that kid was not an Uncle Tom at all & from a public school in Houston, Tx – Willowridge High School (Thurman Thomas)

  • I Am Legend ( Allergic To Darkies)

    Everyone knows DUKE is a team full of white boys and then a couple token black guys…

    All the hood Black basketball players decline DUKE … But you will get the uncle toms to go their ..

    • Mrs. Rance

      That’s because too many hood negroes aren’t concerned about their education. They are the ones that if they get lucky and make it to the NBA they wind up in trouble with the law all the time and broke when its all said and done. That is nothing to be proud of.

    • I Am Legend ( Allergic To Darkies)

      They decline DUKE because noone wants to play for a school who wants them to dress, walk,talk,act, think like a robot… Sure you can get a good education from DUKE but you can anywhere else if you put your mind to it.. DUKE in the 90’s was a white boy school..Black people didnt go to DUKE except those uncle toms

    • Mrs. Rance

      Well we’re going to have to agree to disagree. Yeah you can get an education anywhere, but what is going to look good on your resume? Of course guys who won’t attend a school because they are expected to come out of their prison fashion every now and then are not concerned with a resume, grades or anything else of substance. I have an even greater appreciation for Duke now that I know they have high standards across the board.

    • luvurself31

      I understand what Jalen is saying. Duke is a predominately caucasian team and they would have NEVER wanted brothers like Allen Iverson but back in the 90’s, I was glad to see Grant Hill do his thing.

  • I Am Legend ( Allergic To Darkies)

    You cant name me 1 guy who played on DUKE basketball team in the 90’s that looked, dressed, talked or anything like the Fab 5…Because they wouldnt recruit those type of players ..And if you fail to see that then thats your problem

    • The Commenter Formerly Known as White Devil

      They wouldn’t recruit the Fab 5, that’s true. Duke basketball recruits character over athleticism. But you can’t argue with success. Krzyzewski has a winning formula. I think they will recruit inner city kids. They just have to have a high GPA and a solid character. All John Calipari cares about is basketball skills. If you are a dumb thug who can ball, go to Kentucky.

    • I Am Legend ( Allergic To Darkies)

      So you are telling me that these guys didnt have good character ??? What you are really sayin is these guys didnt fit the DUKE culture of straight laced uncle toms …

    • The Commenter Formerly Known as White Devil

      Maybe character is not a good word. I don’t remember the Fab 5 having any off the court issues. I know Calipari’s guys get into all kinds of trouble. But Duke wants players who will play within the system and follow instructions. That wins championships for Duke. If he finds black kids from the inner city who can play that way he will take them. But not many inner city kids are trained like that. Most think that acting like that makes you an “uncle tom.”

    • free

      what’s uncle tom’ish about a duke player?

    • Mrs. Rance


      Wear a tie = Uncle Tom
      Speak proper English = Uncle Tom
      Good grades = Uncle Tom
      Comfortable manuevering in normal society = Uncle Tom
      No entourage of homies = Uncle Tom

    • I Am Legend ( Allergic To Darkies)

      What is so “ghetto ignorance ” about what J Rose said ?? I respect what he said and from the product DUKE put out on the court ANYONE could tell that hes telling the truth. If you were a fan of college BBall in the 90’s you would understand


      You’re right,Nobody on DUKE dressed or acted like the Fab 5. Maybe because they were too busy WINNING back to Back NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS and GRADUATING,something the Fab 5 wouldn’t know anything about. Brothers like Johnny Dawkins,Billy King,Jeff Mullins,Jason Williams,Tommy Amaker Grant Hill,Elton Brand,Chris Duhon and many others,have all graduated,gone on to play,Coach and even Run NBA Teams as General Managers,but you’re right,they didn’t look like the Fab 5,Thank God!

  • rob

    I guess you had to follow basketball in that era to know exactly what he was talking about. It wasn’t so much the players color or ethnicity, it was who the player was that Duke looked for. And Duke didn’t have players with an “edge”. I always rooted against Duke, I loved UNC. But Duke would always put together a solid squad and win championships. As much as I disliked Duke, they’re system worked and there players were sucessful on and off the court.

  • if anything be noble

    Mm hmm, Legend. “What he’s basically saying is Duke would never give an inner city kid a chance.”

  • I Am Legend ( Allergic To Darkies)

    I hated DUKE in the 90’s …I was all about UNLV with Stacey Augmon, Greg Anthon, Larry Johnson or Michigan with the fab 5

  • free

    no, you dumb dummies! duke recruits players who aren’t going to leave after one year to go pro.

    they recruit players who are going to get a d*mn education first.

    they recruit players who are about the team, not selves. you don’t hear about any of them getting in trouble.

    i’m so tired of hearing about the hood. everybody ain’t down with that hood shyt.

    and whatever your dumb *ss has to say jalen, duke wins games so let the haters keep hating.

    • free

      i actually meant to call jalen a dumb dummy, not yall, lol.


    There are truths and lies in sports and Jalen was sharing a truth that was proven time and again particularly with the Basketball players at Duke in the 80’s-90’s with maybe 2-3 exceptions. William Avery, Elton Brand, and Corey Magette were those exceptions.

  • if anything be noble

    Cosign @ President REAL4REAL

  • The Commenter Formerly Known as White Devil

    How many championships did the Fab 5 win? I can’t remember.


    Selling out is never an option, and any parent that allows their child to do so is more guilty than the child. Success is possible with your dignity intact. Perfect example the BYU situation. Parents that allow their kids to go there without researching the situation are setting their child up for failure. Who sends their child (especially a charismatic one)to a school expecting them to live a ‘virtuous’ on campus experience? REALISM is a necessity!!!

    • Mrs. Rance

      Being virtuous is selling out?!?! You know what, I’m not gonna let your people run my blood pressure up with all this crazy talk. I see black folks selling out everyday, ie, working in the office enviroment, wearing suits and ties. Luckily for me I see more of them than I see negroes walking around in sagging pants. That minority that is keeping it real are unemployed are underemployed. Yeah, don’t sell out bruh. Stay out there in the field for the sake of fashion and slang. The rest of us will be in the house in the AC. Geez.

  • Tee Aay

    UM is a great school academically. One of the best public universities in the nation. A better school than Duke. All Jalen Rose said was thats how he felt about Duke when he was 18, which was 20 years ago. If a person speaks candidly nowadays he’s considered to be a hater or ignorant?


    @ Be Noble, exactly. There have always been players at Duke that didn’t fit the mold but the politics kept them from succeeding. Coach ‘K’ = Dictator… Dean Smith = Coach… the difference Dean Smith made demands of his players but allowed for some forms of individuality, whereas Coach ‘K’ completely frowns on individuality, he has a communist viewpoint. There is a fine line between Discipline and Control Issues. Just sayin…


      Dictator? The Dictator has twice as many CHAMPIONSHIPS and has GRADUATED More of His players than “The Coach”,so i think you might want to rethink your position on this one.


    The Fab 5 exemplified the real core of the black community our individuality and swag that has only been emulated not duplicated by ALL other cultures.

    • afrodite

      tell ’em

    • Govt. Cheese

      I also love how that swag puts thousands of black men in jail or dead on the streets.

      The reason why other cultures observe but don’t emulate, is because they know how it will end…Death or Prison!


      That’s right,keep putting “SWAG” over intelligence and achievement and see how far that will take us……..

  • MyReason

    Jalen’s comment is very ignorant and he knows it. Just because a person isn’t in an “urban” environment doesn’t make them an “uncle tom”. He obviously has no idea what the term means like MOST of the black people who are so quick to blurt it out at any black person they don’t relate to, most of whom have NEVER read the book. I really need our people to wake up and stop perpetuating self hatred on eachother-we are our own worst enemy.

    • Mel

      *thank you for adding some reason and perspective to this conversation

    • SuperstarMuzik

      Applause Applause!!!!!

  • rip NAT TURNER


    Football vs BASKETBALL are totally different as far as recruiting ! You can’t have a GREAT div. 1 FOOTBALL team consisting of Uncle Toms.

    Nephew chose Rutgers ? . . . hmmmm

    • Mrs. Rance

      I don’t know one football school from the other, but I did see a lot of the disparaging comments about him choosing Rutgers. They said he would never make it to the NFL from there. Stanford was his #2 choice. Condi Rice herself tried to recruit him. The NFL would be nice but it is not his only option. He will be a Science major at Rutgers. The sky is the limit for him. 😀

  • Naheim J


  • if anything be noble

    @ REAL4REAL… agreeing like a woman on Maury (2 billion 57 percent)

  • Reka_baby

    For once, I cosign with I Am Legend

1 2 3 8
blog comments powered by Disqus