The Starting Five Grant Hill Interview

Grant has finished his career strong

*Posting ’07 interview from the old site in light of Grant’s piece in the NY Times. Writing something on Fab Five Doc and Grant’s response now-Mizzo*

Many athletes are not afforded a second chance and ultimately languish among the has beens and what ifs. Grant Hill has become the soul model for athletes that haven’t the courage to fight and find their true sense of career satisfaction in the midst of adversity.

He’s overcome injuries that normally cause freakishly talented pros to run from the sights, sounds and once in a lifetime heights of glory associated with super stardom. Legends primitive who become hood stars that saunter apprehensively and settle diminished into a lost world of sitting on stoops and embellishing past stories to any admirer who used to love them. A new day has dawned. The signing of Hill by Phoenix proves how serious the Suns are in their quest of obtaining the title forever elusive. Playing at Duke, where his Blue Devils were the first team to go back to back since Walton dreams and Kareem teams energized the UCLA dynasty, Grant was able to perform in a comfort zone that most athletes only dream of. Initially when Grant entered the NBA, he was one of the most gifted ballers to grace the scene. His unique combination of athleticism, intelligence and modesty was instrumental in Grant becoming the first rookie to lead any American sport in fan all-star total balloting. It wasn’t anything unusual for Grant to rack up multiple triple doubles per week as he positioned himself to become a true basketball icon. He was one of the first to be proclaimed the next Jordan and had the classiness and ambassador like presence of one Julius Erving. GHill was the truth before this generation’s definition of truth ever existed. His African American art has been on tour to give those not accustomed an inspiring renaissance of cultural thought. Grant and his R&B songstress wife Tamia are fam first, and committed to giving back to raise up those who live by means less amid socially distorting life distress.

Simply put, Grant is a winner. This cannot ever be questioned.

Michael Tillery: What prompts you to give so much back to so many organizations and not really receive well-deserved attention?

Grant Hill: I understand to a degree, to whom much is given, much is expected. We as athletes–celebrities and people that have financial security–are in positions where we can help. I think all of us…no matter who you are or where you are from…that achieve a certain level of success, can bring people along the way. My mindset is to try to help. It is as simple as that. Whether that is financial contributions, giving your name or actually getting out there, rolling up your sleeves and doing something for someone for a worthy cause, then that is important. Not to get deep or philosophical or anything like that, it is just how I am. My wife Tamia feels the same way and also does what she can to help in any way possible. We both have our organizations that we feel adamant supporting. It is good to be in a situation to be able to make a difference. Sometimes it is a big difference, sometimes it is on a smaller scale, but it is a difference nonetheless.

MT: It is known Grant that you do not speak of yourself in a flattering manner. You and your wife do so much for the community. How many organizations are the two of you involved in?

GH: I could not really tell you. If you look at a bio, you will see things that we have done over the years. You may read about something, someone may call or right a letter. You might have a friend and we might make an appearance. We might volunteer or give a contribution. You may do that for a year and move on to something else. There are also organizations that we have been supporting through the years. I do not know off the top of my head. I know what we are involved in now, but there is not a criteria, or game plan or goal that we want to do this or that. It is kind of whatever we are feeling or whatever we hear about. Whatever is important to us at that time, we try to do what we can do. What I am really trying to say is that it is no rhyme or reason. We do not say that we want to give to x amount of community service per year or give a certain amount of capital annually. It really rather fluctuates from year to year.

MT: Does the NBA mandate a certain amount of community hours geared to giving back?

GH: The NBA has programs. The NBA has different charities they support. Each team supports charities. I will say the teams I have been a part of do a good job to support charities, raising money, doing various things–which I think is great for the community. It is also great for young players to give them a model. I think it is good that the NBA and teams give a good example and say that we have certain latitude to show the community that we are accessible mentally, physically and financially.

MT: There are professional athletes and there are professional parents. You definitely have professional parents. How have they affected who you are and how can that positive example affect our collective upbringing?

GH: I am lucky. I am blessed for having their genetics that allows me to go out and do what I have done for years. My parents are educated; my parents are professionals. I am lucky to have had them play such a big role in my life. I cannot speak necessarily for other people, but positive parenting is important. I have a daughter and another one on the way any day now. We are excited about that. I know my daughter is watching everything. Not just for an example, but also to teach her right from wrong. I wish everyone had that. I know not everyone is that fortunate. Not everyone is going to have that upbringing from great people who have achieved much as I have. It definitely helps. I am very close with them. I am an only child. I still lean on them for support now like I did when I was younger. The one thing I realized watching them interact with their parents is that you never stop being a parent. Whether your child is in diapers or an adult, it is a very serious responsibility and that never changes.

As far as that affecting society, hopefully we all can try to be better parents. Nobody is perfect; we all make mistakes. I am in a wonderful position to do the best I can to shape, mold and teach my children to be the best they can be.

MT: I thought it was very poignant for your mother and daughter to be at the press conference introducing you to the Phoenix Suns organization. Speak about that moment as you enter a new stage in your career–going to a franchise that is on the cusp of all professional sports and currently one of the models that affect the way we choose to view sports.

GH: Well my wife could not be there because she is pregnant. The way I looked at it–this is going to sound crazy–we had to find a house and my wife could not travel. We also had to get my daughter interviewed and enrolled into a private school. I do not think my wife trusted me to find the right house (Grant and I laugh) so she sent my mom along to make sure we got something more in style.

*Note: Grant and Tamia are now the proud parents of a baby girl. I spoke to him via text message and he says the family is great although the little one is not yet sleeping through the night. Make sure you get ya sleep bruh. Nash’s passes are a beast

The few days that I was there, I spent time with the organization–the owner, the coach and Steve Kerr. It really is a family atmosphere and that is the approach Jerry Colangelo as an owner started. It is one that Sarver the current owner, Steve Kerr and Coach D’Antoni. It was fitting in that regard. They were extremely accommodating to my family and have been very helpful as we transition out there. I am not saying other organizations are not like them, but it just shows a lot about them. I am excited to have joined the Suns family and have my family be a part of their family.

MT: The Suns obviously play at break neck speed and seem to be ahead of the league condition wise. They conjure images of the Sac Kings from earlier in the decade, the Mavericks of the same period, Showtime and the Nuggets of the ‘80’s. Are you ready for this?

GH: The way they play is the way I like to play. I like to get up and down the court. I think I have excelled in the past–and even now–in the open court. You know it is weird. Coach D’Antoni gets credit for this style of play, but it really was the style of play in the ‘80’s. I am a fan. Coach D’Antoni went to Europe and came back and the style changed. It was more methodical–more walk it up and call every play. I think this system is fun. Players enjoy it. It is predicated on ball movement and getting out and running. I do not pretend to know a whole lot about it. I am sure Steve and Raja and those guys will help get me where I need to be. It is exciting. I believe we can win. The Lakers–they won–you know, Showtime. The Celtics of that same time got up and down the court when they needed to. I cannot wait to incorporate myself with the team and learn how the team approaches things. Most importantly, to try to win. Hopefully we can go out there, be successful and achieve our goal. I am very excited.

MT: Have you spoken to your teammates? Do you feel welcome?

GH: Yes, it has been great. Not only does the organization want you, but also talking to Steve, Amare and the rest of the guys, you can feel that they are tight. They have told me that they are glad that I am here. I look forward to not only playing with them, but also getting to know them and developing a rapport on and off the court. I really talked to Steve. We have known each other from competing over the years. He has been very, very helpful. I had many questions. There have been many things we have talked about. He sounds just as excited as I am.

MT: What specifically do you add to an already successful Phoenix Suns team?

GH: Another hungry veteran. A guy that can make plays. I do not like talking about myself, but I can play.

I look forward to proving it.

I want to show my teammates just what I can do. I am a smart player that can run, can finish and create. I am unselfish. These are the things I bring to the table. Like I said before, I do not feel comfortable patting my own back.

MT: Grant, I want to get into the lean years. The injury-riddled period where you were sitting on the bench–seemingly frustrated looking up at the scoreboard. What did you learn about the game and more importantly about yourself? How did you stay inspired?

GH: Wow. (Grant pauses) It was not easy for an athlete that is accustomed to playing all the time to not be out there. Whether it is a coach’s decision or in my case an injury, it is definitely hard. I went from being a player used to playing at a certain ability level to all the sudden have my career come to a halt. You are not able to compete, when you do compete you hurt. There is a frustration of not knowing if you are ever going to be healthy. Not knowing if I will ever compete. If my body is going to hold up. The desire is always there, but you start to have doubts. Doubting your health, doubting if you are ever going to play on a high level. I am not saying it is there all the time, but it starts to creep in. As these young guys say, you lose your swagger. Life is a bunch of peaks and valleys. From a career standpoint, it was a valley.

You do not let it beat you. You become stronger. You become better as a person. You become better as a teammate. You get a better appreciation and perspective for the game and a better understanding of life. That is how life is.

Yeah, I missed some prime years. I cannot get them back. It did not kill me. It was definitely a tough time. Even now, this is the first time that I finished the season healthy and walked off the court in so long. It is the first time I have been able to go into a summer and work on my game. I have not done that since the summer of ‘99.

MT: Wow! I had no idea it has been that long.

GH: Yeah, every summer I have been rehabbing. I was not working on my ball handling or working on this or that to get a better result. It was just rehab. I was testing my body. Will this hold up? Then all of the sudden the sports hernia–which was a different thing. It was never a case of doing what ballplayers do–which is wanting to get better and working on getting that done. It was always working on strategy. It felt like I have been focusing for so long on trying to get right and trying to get healthy. This summer is fun. I am having fun just working on things. I see an improvement in certain areas. These seven years have been very hard and I am just glad that I did not go crazy and I am given this opportunity. This is a wonderful, wonderful opportunity to play with this team and have a chance to do something very special.

MT: Who was instrumental in you getting better? Was it physiotherapist Alex McKechnie?

GH: There have been many guys that have been helpful. I had the sports hernia not this past year but the year before last. That kept me out most of the season. I went to see Alex after taking three months off and I still was hurting. I was in Vancouver for twelve weeks. Ten of those twelve weeks that I was up there, I worked my tail off. The sports hernia almost made me walk away from the game. He got me right and I went through the season without one problem. He was a lot of fun to work with. We spent hours working on drills to get me healthy. Now, I go on the court, do my drills and I am not thinking about my body. It is refreshing to be in this situation.

MT: I cannot help to make a comparison between you and Chris Webber. You both came into the league with gifted and almost ridiculous athleticism. You both were at the top of the league in triple doubles, which speaks of your all around talent. Then all of the sudden the debilitating injuries happen. It takes away from your basketball sense. Do you ever get the sense you were placed here to transcend the sport of basketball–using more of your being to become a more prominent figure in society?

GH: Wow. I have never really thought about it like that. I think everybody that goes through something always asks, “why me?” But, like you said, maybe there is a bigger purpose there. Bigger than our careers, bigger than our awards and bigger than something that I have not quite realized. Webber…I have known Chris since I was thirteen from playing against each other. We have two different injuries and issues surrounding them, but the thing is that we keep fighting. I am a neighbor of a different sport–Ken Griffey Jr. It is funny because we really did not know each other that well but we got to know one another a few years back. I am not comparing myself to him, but we can kind of relate to each other because I have been one to understand what he has been through and vice versa. We have both been robbed of some years. With all of us–we are different players with different styles and in Griffey’s case, a different sport–we are still doing it. We have not quit and we have not given up or mentally mailed it in. I am still here fighting. As a parent, you try to tell your children that when you get knocked down, you have to get back up. I am sure there have been guys that have packed it in. I have had teammates tell me that they would have quit a long time ago. They would say that I already have the money. It is all guaranteed.

I love to play. Once it is over, it is over.

I never looked at things quite this way, but now that I have been hurt, I have reached out to Sean Livingston. I call him and am in his ear to encourage him so he will not get frustrated. There is going to be a lot of emotion that he is going through and has gone through and will continue to go through as he gets back. You pull for guys like that because you know how tough it is. You know how lonely it is. You know exactly what that particular player is going through day in and day out. Guys get hurt and come back, but when they have the serious, serious injury where people question whether or not they will ever play again, you have to earn your way back. It is not going to be given to you.

MT: Hot topic question for you. What do you think about the referee gambling scandal involving–as far as we know–Tim Donaghy?

GH: I do not know a whole lot about it. Mainly just what I have read. It is very unfortunate. Hopefully, it is an isolated incident. I know the league right now has to defer to the federal investigation. I know Stern has the league’s best interest at heart and will make the right decisions regarding that. If someone is going to go through those kinds of measures, then gambling is a problem. I am sure there are guys in the league that like to play cards sometimes it can become an addiction. This particular case is the worse case scenario. The owner of the Philadelphia Eagles back in the eighties–Leonard Tose–spent all the money he had and went bankrupt because of a gambling addiction.

The league will do all they can to make this better and keep it moving forward. I have the utmost confidence in that.

MT: What are your experiences with USA Basketball? Will our country get back on track and claim what is rightfully ours?

GH: I was on the ‘96 team that won Gold in Atlanta. I was also a member of the 2000 team but broke my ankle and did not play. I was also a member of the developmental team that practiced with the Dream Team in 1992. We beat them in a scrimmage the first day. They came back and beat us the next three days. I found the tape of that game. The video guy for the Pistons when Chuck Daly was coach was also in Detroit when I was there and is still there now. He gave me a copy of it a couple of years ago, but I never looked at it. I found it the other day and watched it and was like wow that was a long time ago. I played in the Pan Am Games in 1991. It seems like now it is more organized. It is more structured. It is a little bit more serious. The rest of the world has definitely caught up. The NBA and USA basketball are definitely taking the right approach that hopefully will lead to the ultimate success–which is a Gold medal next summer.

MT: Is your collection of African American art still on exhibition?

GH: No, it is back. Most of it is in storage. We may in the future–as we continue to add more pieces–have something go out in the future on tour. It was a great opportunity to bring people out to museums that would not normally go. It was good to expose all young people, but more specifically kids in the inner-city schools come through and also take field trips to see the art exhibited.

It is important that they see more than great athletes and great entertainers. It is important that they see artists of color exhibit quality art at quality museums. It is not just an athletic thing. That was really important to me and the feedback was great.

Romare Bearden, John Biggers, Jacob Lawrence, Elizabeth Catlett, Charles Austin are some of the artists featured. All of them except Elizabeth Catlett are deceased. They were the masters or originators of an entire genre of African American art. There are some amazing works. I am lucky to be an owner of such a collection.

MT: When players see a would be champion developing in Boston, does the league take notice?

GH: You have to definitely take a look at the players that they have put together.

That is a great team.

Immediately, for that team, the fans there and the rest of the fans of the league the expectation level is raised. You are going to look at that team differently. You expect a team like that to be there at the end of the day. Teams that definitely have a chance to win will take notice. At some point, you have to focus on you.

Take a page out of the Spurs book last year. They focused on what they needed to do as a team. They go out, execute and do what they need to do day in and day out and they end up winning a championship.

Teams are going to make changes. Teams are going to get better. It does not make it any easier or any harder to win a championship. It is still the same. You have to go out there and do it. Boston, Milwaukee and New York were out of the playoffs last year. New York brings in Zach Randolph and potentially is better. They are coming off a year where they feel better about themselves. Milwaukee was a seven, eight seed last year that had to endure a lot of injuries. They expect to be better. You have Charlotte and Atlanta. Are those teams ready to take a step or are they two years away? You have legit teams fighting for eight spots. The Eastern Conference is going to be very competitive and that is somewhat new. The West is the West. The conference has been competitive for a while and will continue to be such next season. I think it is going to be very interesting to see who things play out in the Eastern Conference.

MT: Hypothetically–for fans, I am sure not for you personally–the final horn goes off in June. You have the ball in your hand and your other hand is raised. What kind of feeling will you have to finally be crowned NBA champion as a member of the Phoenix Suns?

GH: Wow! That’s everybody’s dream. To have that happen will be amazing. Because of what I have been through, that would be great. I do not know what I would do or what I would fee. I am hoping that I year from now I can tell you.

The three highlights of my career were winning two straight championships at Duke and winning a Gold medal. There is no greater feeling to know that at the end of the season or tournament that you are the best. You could sit here and debate who the better player is. Is this person better than that person. Either person can be right or wrong, but you cannot debate who is champion. It is the best. I always reflect on those three experiences and hopefully I can add a fourth.

35 Responses to “The Starting Five Grant Hill Interview”

  1. Miranda says:

    I wish Grant and Jalen had co-written a piece together on the whole “Fab Five vs Duke” thing and the media and all that surrounded it instead of what is happening now which is that good negro vs bad negro crap that makes it seem like its 1991 all over again.

  2. Origin says:

    Thank you Miranda I totally agree. The media is playing this nonsense up to the T.

    The thing is no one and I mean no one is even addressing how grown folks were sending 18 year old kids death threats and hate mail. Yet all I get is talking heads mentioning how one 18 year old man thought of another 18 year old man 20 years ago. Somehow Jalen vs Hill is the only thing we are getting out that documentary.

    And didn’t Sankofa just last week talk about how we black folk fall for the good negro vs. bad negro all the time.

    Anyway I got a whole lot more to talk about once brotha Mizzo drops that Michigan piece on the fab 5 documentary.

  3. Miranda says:

    You are so right O… is ridiculous. All that was discussed by the neo-con sports babblers was the op-ed by Grant – I can’t stand these mofos.

    This is Chris Weber’s response from his website

  4. Origin says:

    Sista Miranda……Bomani Jones has been killing it talking about this nonsense the last few days.

    Take a listen to March 14 thru today. I mean the brotha is really breaking it down.

  5. Miranda says:

    Thanks O! I’m gonna listen this afternoon.

  6. GrandNubian says:

    Grant Hill went out like a ‘B!$&%(%’.

    I thought he would be smart enough to understand that those sentiments the Fab 5 had towards him and Duke were from the minds of 18 & 19 year olds. IMHO, Jalen Rose is the only one that has matured and moved past his initial thoughts. Bobby Hurley and Grant Hill responses are emotionally based.

    He didn’t really need to reply. However, his replay should’ve been something along the lines of “it is sad to know they felt that way back then and I certainly hope those are not their current views.”

    If I was Hill, I would be more concerned with Jimmy King calling me a “bitch” than Jalen saying I was a “Uncle Tom”. (LOL)

  7. Origin says:

    @ Miranda – No problem sista.

    @ GN – Brotha I was thinking the same thing. Wifey and I were watching the documentary on Sunday and even she said man if you call a dude a “B” them fighting words. Yet Grant says nothing about being called a “B”…..I don’t know about you’ll. But I swear if you were to ask 100 brothas which word would they most likely fatten up a fools lip over being called. I think most would say being called a “B”.

    And another thing after watching the documentary my wife was salty about Jalen calling Webber out about the whole booster incident. But here we are 4 days later and Webber is defending Rose and hasn’t said a peep of how he was portrayed or if he thought Rose threw him under the bus. But Grant is writing novel length responses in the NY times to Rose “THINKING” he was an Uncle Tom at the age of 18. Something ain’t right…… I said before everyone is getting played in this.

    Anyway let me end with this by saying we have all thought of folks in a way they wasn’t correct as youths. Only to get older and find out we were wrong with that train of thinking. Heck 20 years ago I thought my parents were the meanest folks on the planet and thought my lil cousin was the devil. Now in my mid 30s I know that my parents weren’t the meanest folks in the world and were trying to protect me and look out for my best interest and that my cousin really wasn’t the devil and only needed jesus in his life….LOL!!!

  8. Miranda says:

    Will somebody….anybody… tell Bobby Hurley


  9. MODI says:

    O, Bomani was on absolute fire! brings it back to the real issues…

  10. Origin says:

    LMAO…………Miranda you got me crying….LOL!!!
    I am laughing so hard my side hurts…..LOL!!!

    Brotha Modi……..yeah Bomani is the truth dude broke it down for real. Not only that he broke it down for like 4 days straight.

  11. Miranda says:

    Unless somebody tells me his words were taken out of context, then seriously, Bobby Hurley needs to GTFOOHWTMFBS…

    Hurley said that Jalen Rose might not have played if he had landed at Duke. “He might have had a hard time hitting the floor, because he wouldn’t taken my spot,” Hurley said. And he said Thomas Hill might not lose his spot either. He also had some issues with Jimmy King saying he had no game. Hurley said when he scored 26 on them, maybe that should have given King the hint.

  12. Origin says:

    Miranda – with all this talk going back and forth watch some hustler (cough cough Don “Moose” Lewis) try to get these old guys together and have some pay per view game between the Fab 5 starting five and the Duke starting five. To “let them settle it on the court”.

    Also how is it that Laettner was called a “B” and he is the only one that ain’t talking. Shoot Christian Laettner somewhere in a corner counting his money……he ain’t worried about none of this mess. I mean even dusty butt Bobby Hurley talking noise….I ain’t heard that dude name since like 1995 (last time I heard about that dude Wesley Snipes was running around with blond hair fighting Sly). I mean is Cherokee Parks and Erik Meek now gonna get some air time too??

  13. eric daniels says:

    Bomani laid the smack down and was correct on people are in denial about what the issues are and it’s not Jimmy King calling Grant Hill a “bitch” or Jalen Rose calling Grant Hill and “Uncle Tom” it is…

    1. Too many black people/writers putting their personal “anedotal” bad expericences from childhood to the present day and acting on emotion instead of hearing what Jalen had to say in the documentary

    2. Duke men’s basketball does recruit a certain black ballplayer and that’s their right as an organization, but to say that single parent kids are thuggish, can’t learn or compete at Duke or any university for that matter is classist and racist

    3. White sports fans/sports journalists “phony morality” is popping up like bad brunt popcorn, they don’t care about nuance or reason on this issue all they are doing is what I call racial revenge and their hatred for inner city blacks like Rose going after one of their favorite “honorary white person”.

    Hill’s article wasn’t brave at all, he may have confirmed what Jimmy King said about him and made me realize that four years 400,000 later the degree he got from Duke was wasted on him. Reason is something most people should learn before college, I saw the same documentary and it seems most people missed the boat on issues of class, education and race that Rose and his fellow fab members were talking about and how they did change the game.

    And Jason ” Uncle Tom” Whitlock, Webber, King, Jackson and Rose made history in college basketball by becoming the first freshman and sophomores to start in two final fours and played the game’the right way’.

  14. Miranda says:

    ED, someone sent me Whitlock’s column yesterday and all I can say is…..

    Whitlock must have the smallest penis in the whole wide world.

    THE. END.

  15. GrandNubian says:

    I just listened to the Bomani Jones audio-mentary. Yeah, he’s killin it. He’s discussing the REAL issues. Classic stuff.

  16. Miranda says:

    OK, I just listened to like the past 3 days of Bomani Jones…that was great listening. Some of the callers were ON IT. Thanks for hipping me to his show.

  17. Big Man says:

    Exactly Eric Daniels.
    I been saying that for days now.

  18. Mizzo says:

    About to interview Rose. Shoot questions to my email or fb inbox.

  19. Julius says:

    Well, what would YOU guys think at TSF if you had some 18 year old punks accusing you of being sellouts and uncle toms simply because you chose to create or participate in a website for which verbal expression in what is basically “white man’s English” is the main mode of communication? I think Grant Hill had every right to respond to that garbage, even 20 years after the fact, and even given the fact that Jalen Rose doesn’t feel that way anymore. Why do I say that? Because these accusations of being a sellout, simply because you’re educated, are STILL a very real and very important issue! It’s really incredible that so many black men still think being uneducated makes you streetwise. Like the rest of TSF, Grant Hill was doing his part in helping to combat the totally misguided notion that ignorance is cool. How can you “know thy enemy” if you can’t read his language?

  20. eric daniels says:

    Julius, where did Jalen Rose say in his documentary that his being streetwise was cool or authentically black? I saw that show and nowhere does Rose say those things. The only people promoting the “real street black” vs the Grant Hill types are people in the media looking for a story. Most Black People in the hood are trying to raise their children to be responsible human beings. And where are these Black Men saying in interviews that being ignorant is cool “Lil Wayne”, ” Wakka Flacka” Flavor Flav?

    And what great things is Grant Hill besides bouncing a basketball around the country to prove that Black Men are educated Julius?

  21. MODI says:

    I finally got to see this documentary tonight, and thought it was really well done. It makes it even more disappointing that this Rose-Hill think has become the story. Rose added all the necessary subsequent context in the film for this not to be a controversy at all.

    I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Hill didn’t actually watch the doc, but got info passed on to him. I suspect that he was in the middle of dinner and got a call from a friend say, “did you hear this shit about what Jalen said about you?” and then started typing away against a straw man…

    That the Sports Reporters is leading off with this pseudo controversy almost a week later is simply ridiculous. The doc should have helped put the exploitation of college athletes by the NCAA front and center

  22. sankofa says:

    When brothers fight, the enemies gather around to seek spoils”
    –African saying

    I am viewing this while on the plantation, so certain links are unattainable. But did Jalen or any of those cats call out Grant Hill’s parents? Amongst the snippets I dared reading, was a reference of Rose to his Jealousy of Hill’s position as the child of a loving two parent home. The little I know of Grant Hill, he is an example of a man of value and integrity, but this was a bitch move on his part. If he has an amiable relationship with Rose, why not pull his coat tail and find out what is the deal?

    MODI, I don’t think it mattered if he say it or not, because I am still hearing noise from people who CLAIMED to have seeing it, yet get it all twisted, calling Rose wishy washy and shit. I bet there are quite a few folks who see a validation in Rose’s statement based on Hill running to the one source that have always promoted the economic and social rift amongst us folks in America Inc. Julius stop telling tale out of school, being called a Uncle Tom has nothing to do with you being educated and no one ever said that. Many people from the neighbourhood will call your education in to question, when you use it as a tool to beat them over the head with, or as a gate pass into passing for Caucasian in attitude if not looks, hence the Uncle Tom reference. When each of us were 18, we use to talk some ignorant ( in the way it is meant) shit about things we know nothing about, but hear second hand before putting our own spin on it. I don’t thing we need to over analyze what them cats said, it was in context and that sentiment didn’t come out of a void.

    Anyway this is too much about nothing, I would much prefer making voodoo dolls of that house knee-grow sending war planes into Libya, as a prelude to attacking Iran. According to Dr. Ben Jochannan, the last emperor of Rome was knee-grow…Romulus Agustulus, and we know what happened to the empire, stretching itself for conquest while leaving the domestic affairs out of order.

    Once again, the doers of Isfet is distracting us with bull shit while they go about doing what ever they want to do outside the NAU borders.

  23. GrandNubian says:


    Well said, brother!

  24. GrandNubian says:


    I agree with you, bruh. I don’t think Grant Hill actually saw the documentary himself. If he did, I would like to think that he wouldn’t have responded at all because there was really no need to.

  25. MODI says:

    Yeah Sankofa, I heard that wishy-washy refrain. Jalen’ s words in the doc– which express admiration for Hill — could have been left as is. I really don’t begrudge Hill, but ESPN is another matter of course. They were really doing a disservice how they have been milking this — which undermines the strength of their own strong documentary. So even when ESPN supports a good project, they have to go ahead and fuck it up afterwards.

    So when I turn on the Sports Reporters on Sunday and see three black panelists I immediately get encouraged after seeing Lupica-Albom-Ryan 100 too many times. Then despite a slew of March Madness games to talk about, it is all about Hill-Rose, Adrian Peterson-modern day slavery, and the like… They barely even mentioned the Tourney. I mean the only time TSR can have 3 black panelists is to in-fight about this? How about having 3 black panelists on a week where the topic is just sports? Have we seen that at TSR? I can’t recall.

  26. Temple3 says:

    Well, what would YOU guys think at TSF if you had some 18 year old punks accusing you of being sellouts and uncle toms simply because you chose to create or participate in a website for which verbal expression in what is basically “white man’s English” is the main mode of communication?

    With all due respect, sir, that’s pretty silly.

    Regardless of your political orientation, it is without dispute that the members of organizations like the Nation of Islam (as just one example), speak with an exquisite mastery of the English language. Not one of them has ever been accused of being an “Uncle Tom” or sellout. Our children are not so silly as to get caught up in the mastery of language. In fact, our children are attracted TO the mastery of language.

    It is the context of mastery which they intuitively reject.

    For many, economic and social alienation constitute what they PERCEIVE to be insuperable barriers. When confronted with Black people who appear to be on the OTHER SIDE (by virtue of their ASSOCIATIONS (with white-owned institutions) or by virtue of their AFFECT or STYLE) our youth tend to flatly reject them on the basis of PATTERN MAPPING or, if you prefer, stereotyping.

    When your associations and your affect suggest, intuitively, to children that you are an enemy, then you have brought an obligation on yourself that you must WORK to eliminate. The burden is not on the children…it’s on the ADULTS.

    It’s no different than when men size one another up on the court or in a club. Either you meet the measure applied to you or you don’t — but it’s not about your FEELINGS…it’s about your BEING, and Who You BE and To Whom You BE.

    Kids are pretty sharp. They get it. Sometimes, they need some guidance, but they get it. If “you’re not gonna fall for the banana in the tail pipe,” then you should have a nice little story about how you came to what may seem like a bizarre cultural fate. Kids will listen to you if you speak your truth; they will respect you if you respect them — but if your expectations exceed your contributions…then they will rightly label you as a TAKER and a SELL OUT, regardless of how you speak the King’s English or the Slave’s English.

  27. Temple3 says:


    It’s really incredible that so many black men still think being uneducated makes you streetwise.

    With all due respect (and I mean that), this is sillier. It’s hyperbole…and you’ve mislabeled every aspect of what you purport to explain here.

    What is “being uneducated”? I suspect you equate to “not having formal, traditional, mainstream, corporate education.” Perhaps you’d simply say “not going to school.” In the US, it’s functionally the same thing.

    “Being uneducated” as you surely know is neither a proxy for intelligence nor capacity. Nor is there a line of causality between skipping school and being skillful on the streets.

    Do your self a favor and ask any of the “so many Black men” who still believe as you say whether or not they know folks who are not only uneducated, but not streetwise…people who make STUPID ASS CROOKS…people who simply are unsuccessful in school and in the street.

    I’m willing to bet that the numbers come back fairly strong to indicate that so many Black men believe that people who are uneducated also find it hard to be successful living by their wits on the streets.

    I humbly submit that it might/could be useful for you to ask some hard questions about the nuances of your positions before assuming that your belief is “universal” (which you did NOT suggest) or even widely held. Sometimes, it is the 2nd question that clarifies what the first question can only muddy.

  28. MODI says:

    “It is the context of mastery which they intuitively reject.”

    I really appreciate this line and the entire post beyond your intent in this discussion. You have articulated some points in a succinct manner that will help me in my job. While working with youth organizations who connect disconnected youth to career pathways, we have variations of this discussion with staff as to delivering work readiness training without having young people feel like they are “selling out” (not a concept limited to black youth although usually more pronounced)

    Those organizations that do a great job have non-judgmental staff who have a healthy respect for youth culture while simultaneously promoting “code-switching” to navigate the terrain of corporate employment culture. In sum, learning to speak Chinese is not the same as becoming Chinese and youth get it when delivered genuinely.

    …And those organizations that routinely fail have staff mindset that believes employment culture is somehow superior to youth culture, that a tie is superior to a tatoo, and that speaking one way is superior than another. They consciously or subconsciously disrespect youth, and wonder why youth don’t come back for the next workshop while blaming youth instead of themselves. Like you said, youth know it “intuitively” via “pattern-mapping”.

    Ultimately, each organization is requesting the very same expectations and behavior for the workplace, but only one is reaching youth. Why? “The context of the mastery… of those skills”.

  29. sankofad says:

    MODI … experience is the best experience and only the good swimmer can tell you how to navigate the rough currents. Spot on.

    @Temple…so sublime it may be missed!

  30. GrandNubian says:

    A FB friend posted this article on his wall. I thought it was absolutely hilarious!!! (lol)’s-op-ed/

  31. ks says:


    Damn that was funny and, imo, on point. I can “hear” Jalen saying that.

  32. Mizzo says:

    Jalen and I finally linked up. We talked for an hour. I’ll get it up ASAP family.

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