Originally written on It's Always Sunny in Detroit  |  Last updated 11/18/14

If you have played sports at any level beyond those that hand out participation awards, there’s a chance you’ve been privy to a situation Jalen Rose discussed on his podcast on ESPN’s Grantland Network.  In 2000, Rose was a member of the Indiana Pacers when they faced Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals.  Shaq was the straw that stirred the Lakers’ drink, but Kobe, who was in his third year in the league, played Robin to Shaq’s Batman.

Tuesday, Rose admitted to intentionally trying to injure Bryant as he went up for a jumpshot.  Here’s a play in Game Two of the series where Bryant went up for a jumper and Rose stuck his foot under him in hopes Kobe would turn an ankle (or worse) – exactly what Jalen admitted to doing.  Check out Kobe and Rose on the right elbow.  Notice Jalen’s strategically-placed foot under Bryant’s.  Kobe actually landed on Rose’s foot here and was only able to play nine minutes in this game – which the Lakers still won by seven.  He also missed Game Three.

Here’s Rose’s podcast with his producer Dave Jacoby yesterday talking about his antics:

Here is the transcript:

“NBA Finals, 2000. Kobe. Bean. Bryant. Goes up for a jump shot on the right wing, I contest the jump shot, Kobe lands on my foot. He hobbles off, and he actually misses the next game.  Now, if it was up to me? If it was up to me? He should’ve just missed the whole series. I would have had a championship ring, and it’d be no harm, no foul.”

After badgering from Jacoby, Rose added the following:

“I can’t say that it was an accident.”

When Jacoby asks him how he has maintained a strong relationship with Bryant, Rose replied:

“He never knew I did it on purpose. But now he does.”

Jalen can attribute the play to his youth, but either way, it’s dirty.  Very dirty.  In fact, there’s no place in basketball for it.  It’s one thing to pinch or grab an opponent, but to go after him with an elbow or this type of thing is pretty uncalled for.   The Jalen of old needed to grow up a little.  The Jalen of new could benefit from keeping his mouth shut.


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