Grant Hill gets last word after 'Fab Five' documentary

“The Fab Five,” ESPN’s much-anticipated documentary about the University of Michigan’s 1991-93 men’s basketball teams, debuted Sunday to much praise, but controversy came of it in the following days.

In the film, Fab Five member and former NBA star Jalen Rose discussed his disdain for the Duke University teams playing at the same time. Starring on those Duke teams was current Phoenix Sun Grant Hill, whom Rose had particular disdain for, citing jealousy of his middle-class, two-parent upbringing.

Rose referred to the Afriacan-American players recruited by Duke as “Uncle Toms.”

“Schools like Duke didn’t recruit players like me,” Rose said in the film. “I felt that they only recruited black players that were Uncle Toms.”

Hill took particular offense to these remarks and Jimmy King’s comment that Hill was a “bitch.” His response came in the form of a pointed letter for The New York Times. Here is an excerpt. The whole piece can be found here:

“It was a sad and somewhat pathetic turn of events, therefore, to see friends narrating this interesting documentary about their moment in time and calling me a bitch and worse, calling all black players at Duke ‘Uncle Toms’ and, to some degree, disparaging my parents for their education, work ethic and commitment to each other and to me. I should have guessed there was something regrettable in the documentary when I received a Twitter apology from Jalen before its premiere.”

Rose responded via Twitter in what some interpreted as a dismissive manner, seemingly explaining that those were his feelings at the time and not now. He went on suggest that people criticizing his remarks “quit crying.”

Hill seemed to get the last word though, delivering a subtle jab to conclude his NYT letter:

“I am proud of my family. I am proud of my Duke championships and all my Duke teammates. And, I am proud I never lost a game against the Fab Five.”

Tags: Duke Fab Five Grant Hill Jalen Rose Michigan Phoenix Suns

  • Freddy

    Grant is a Class act and I don’t think a response was needed. The response was not bad tho.

    I remember reading some of the comments on the NY Times that said something along the lines: Their kids are the people they hated at the time.

    I am sure that they were describing how they felt at the time and this kinda blew up in their face.

  • Zak

    I agree totally, Freddy.

  • Steve

    If you saw Jalen and Jimmy on First Take, you would know this is how they still feel.

    Would they still call Grant Hill a bitch or Uncle Tom to his face? No, because Grant Hill has done far more than either of them could dream of doing, and they both know he’s a legend. You don’t step on the toes of legends unless you want to be kicked out of the basketball world forever (think Jose Canseco in baseball).

    But just because they wouldn’t say it to his face doesn’t mean they don’t still believe it. Their First Take interview made that totally clear. In a sense, they are right. Duke does recruit a certain type of PERSON (not player). They typically recruit people who they believe are going to live up to the high standard that Duke, a private institution, has set for their students. Jalen and Jimmy have both proven time and again (with their recent Duke rants being the latest proof) that they are not Duke material.

    There is nothing wrong with an institution not wanting to recruit people who are viewed as “thugs.” In fact, I commend Duke (and any institution who would do the same) for that. Michigan never won a championship with that team, and they also vacated a bunch of wins because of the misdeeds of those players. Why would a class act like Duke want that stain?

    How do you avoid those types of stains? DON’T RECRUIT BUMS! Duke is smart. Jalen Rose is not.

    And, for the record, this is coming from a guy who CAN’T STAND Duke, Laettner, Battier, Boozer, Coach K, or anything else that Duke is. I really hate Duke, but I respect that they are an upstanding institution that sticks to their values.

  • B. Cray Z.

    Suns have reason to be proud.

    That reason comes from the outstanding leadership of Nash, Gentry & Hill.