The Raptors' Jalen Rose

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The number one way to give back to the community is to stay on top of my game--my profession. By being someone that everyone can look up to. It's not just about the money and the finances. I'm just part of the lineage in my 'hood. In Detroit there was Dave Bing, Magic Johnson, Derrick Coleman, that I looked up to and now the young guys look up to me. I want to show them that money isn't everything. You need to know the difference between having money and making money.

BSN: We would like to see you in a New York Knicks uniform; have you talked to Isaiah Thomas?
JRose: Me and Isaiah are cool. I know Isaiah from back in Detroit. He played there while I was growing up. But right now I'm under contract with the Toronto raptors.

BSN: Talk about your legacy of being part of the Fab Five bringing Hip Hop to basketball at Michigan.
JRose: We did the thing that all young brothers from the Inner Cities were doing. We were the trend setters. Just five bad boys; brothers out there on the court representing solidarity and being real to who we are. We brought that to Michigan.

BSN: Did you ever think of going to Syracuse?
JRose: I knew some cats on the team. Dave Bing [Syracuse legend and now famous business executive] was an influence on me as well. But if I went to SU there would have been no Fab Five.

BSN: How do you see your NBA career progressing to this point?
JRose: I'm steadily progressing forward on and off the court. Still looking to win the title is of course a goal. Just have to move forward--taking the good with the bad.

BSN: In your opinion what was missing from the last U.S. Olympic team. What would you have brought to the team?
JRose: The USA squad needed a combo player--a small forward and power forward type who can move the ball. I would have brought versatility to the team with my all around game. My timing is making the jump shots. The reasons for not winning are just excuses. They just have to execute. The USA should dominate because we have the best players. The brothers who can ball--not that we are missing the white boy who can shoot. The brothers just have to go out there and dominate.

BSN: What's your most satisfying moment in your NBA career?
JRose: Number one, being drafted from college after three years at Michigan. Second would be taking the Lakers to six games in the NBA Finals.

BSN: As a young Black man from the inner city who had made it in your profession how do you see yourself giving back to the community.
JRose: The number one way to give back to the community is to stay on top of my game--my profession. By being someone that everyone can look up to. It's not just about the money and the finances. I'm just part of the lineage in my 'hood. In Detroit there was Dave Bing, Magic Johnson, Derrick Coleman, that I looked up to and now the young guys look up to me. I want to show them that money isn't everything. You need to know the difference between having money and making money. Know the difference between being rich and being wealthy. Shaq is rich. Dr. Buss [Laker's owner, Jerry Buss, who signed Shaq's check while he was a Laker] is wealthy. I know the difference. We have to show the young people the difference between being rich and wealthy. [Rose has a diversified portfolio and his investments include professional office buildings and he is also familiar with the tax laws of various States].

BSN: What's your take on your old school Michigan erasing all the accomplishments of the Fab Five era?
JRose: That's funny because what they are doing is making us even more famous. It's just going to add to our legacy. People aren't just going to remember me for being part of the Fab Five. I have started the Jalen Rose scholarship Endowment [which is a fund with $240,000 for students to attend college].

BSN: Knowing that you're a big fan of Hip Hop, who is your pick? Biggie versus Tupac.
JRose: Tupac. Tupac was more than just a rapper. He had the all round thing going on -- he was an actor, a philanthropist, an activist, a poet, everything. Biggie was hype but Tupac; now they have university classes on Tupac, that's deep.

BSN: How do you see the connection between Hip Hop and basketball?
JRose: It's just a natural progression. Hip Hop is about the music, fun, cranking, dance and about just being true to yourself.

BSN: Off the court do you see yourself as a businessman?
JRose: Definitely--into the entrepreneurship thing. I've got a building in Las Vegas and I'm just trying to manage my assets.

BSN: What do you see for yourself individually and for your team collectively this season?
JRose: My best season yet is coming up. Toronto is up-and-coming. The East is up-and-coming.

BSN: How do you like playing in Madison Square Garden?
JRose: I love it. I'm feeling it. The crowd, the music, the people, oh man, it's the best.

BSN: You would look good in a Number 5 white uniform at MSG.
JRose: Hey, that's on Isaiah. You have to talk to him on that. I'm under contract for the Toronto Raptors.

BSN: What message do you have to the Black youth--particularly young Black males?
JRose: Understand who you are. Make sure your dreams come true. Don't get caught up in the superficial. Know who you are first. Be a leader. It's easy to be a follower; learn how to be a leader. Know your own path. Be your own man and have faith and respect.

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