In SportsPickle's "10 (or so) Questions With" series, DJ Gallo interviews people in the sports world doing interesting things.
Today's interview subject: Jalen Rose Fab Five star, 13-year NBA veteran, NBA analyst for ESPN.
And, yes, these are real interviews.
SportsPickle:Your draft day suit still perhaps the best ever in a very competitive category. Where is the suit these days? Hung with care in your closet like a wedding dress? Do you ever wear it around the house for fun? Rent it out for draft night parties?
Jalen Rose:The infamous draft day suit is most definitely in an ugly frame in my house – I haven’t decided exactly what I want to do with it yet, but I know it has to be hanging somewhere since it indirectly bought the house!
SP:Jordan gets all the credit, but the Fab Five really brought in the age of the baggy shorts. Was this a conscious fashion choice? Or because someone’s package didn’t measure up enough for short shorts? Whose was it? Ray Jackson?
Rose:Funny. MJ is arguably the greatest player of all time and although he is very fashion conscious, he wasn’t the trend setter this time – all of us were college kids who were forced to wear soft-porn daisy dukes in high school. When we got to the big stage at UM, it was time to change the game so we requested long shorts, black shoes and black socks because we were rebels with a cause and ready to prove it.
SP:Thanks to you guys, I adopted the baggy shorts style when I played. In 7thgrade basketball, the crotch of my shorts averaged 3.5 turnovers a game because I often tried to dribble between my legs and got stuffed by the low hem. What was I doing wrong?
Rose:Either you’re not that tall or you can’t handle the ball very well.
SP: I'll blame it on the former. Even though it's the latter.
SP:It’s the question all fans of the Fab Five want the answer to: Do you think you’ll ever reunite and go on tour? The Police made a ton of money on their tour last summer.
Rose:Don’t be surprised if there’s a Fab Five movie and book someday with all of us – they will only be legit if they include all of us.
SP: I'll only buy it if there's an entire chapter dedicated to the great Rob Pelinka.
SP:You did a great job as a defensive stopper against Michael Jordan during the ’98 Eastern Conference Finals. But why didn’t you try to stop his Hall of Fame speech this summer? That thing was unbearable.
Rose:It sounded like MJ had a lot on his chest (laughing) … he spoke a lot about motivation and inspiration but at the end of the day, that’s MJ and he can say whatever he wants.
SP:In 2006, the Knicks acquired you from the Raptors in exchange for cap space. You shot 46-percent from the floor in New York and averaged 12.7 points. Cap space did dick. You feel vindicated, no?
Rose:I’m just happy that every situation I’ve ever been in, whether or a great team or bad team, I went out and played well.
SP: Cap space, you have been served.
SP:You have given significant sums of money to fund inner city reading centers, you also donated $100,000 to Dikembe Mutombo for the construction of an operating room at a hospital in the Congo. Very generous. But did you mean to give that much, or could you not understand what Mutombo was saying, and only later discovered you had agreed to six figures?
Rose:Mutombo tricked me (laughing) nah, I knew exactly what I was doing and was very honored to be able to make a donation from my own foundation for such a great cause. Thanks for the props and I hope that I can inspire others to give as well.
SP:Now a few quick questions on the new NBA season
SP:Most surprising offseason acquisition: Allen Iverson to the Grizzlies? Or Khloe Kardashian to Lamar Odom?
Rose:BOTH. AI deserves an opportunity to play for a contender and although quick, Odom and Kardashian deserve to be happy. Stay tuned on both.
SP:Who’s better – Kobe or Lebron? Redick or Morrison?
Rose:Lebron may be better the first 46 minutes of a game but Kobe is better the last two minutes. (See: four titles.)Redick has proven to be a better pro than Morrison so far.
SP:Where do you think Lebron James will be at this time next year? (Note: I mean what team do you think he’ll be playing for, so “Sitting in a diamond-encrusted house” is not an acceptable answer.)
Rose:A diamond-encrusted house NEXT year? I’m sure he’s already sitting in that! I’d be very surprised if Lebron left Cleveland and the Cavaliers.
SP:Due to his positive test, do you think all of Rashard Lewis’ dunks should be asterisked?
Rose:Judging from his body type, I’m not sure he was taking steroids. But if they didn’t do it to Barry Bonds, they shouldn’t do it to Rashard.
SP:Best NBA mascot: Benny The Bull, Phoenix Suns Gorilla, Brian Scalabrine?
Rose:Since I played in both cities, I have love for Benny and the Gorilla. But Brian actually gets to sit on the bench.
SP:Considering the fact that you had some issues with Isiah Thomas in the past, Thomas now coaching at Florida International … hilarious? Or extremely hilarious?
Rose:I have a lot of respect for Isiah and although we may have had issues professionally, ultimately he was one of my mentors and role models growing up and still is. Let’s see how the FIU team fares this season and revisit.
SP:If ______ ever dunked on you, you would pull a Lebron and confiscate the tape.
Picture Tyler Hans-Bro
That guy's had as much success in the NBA as Hansbrough.
Picture Picture Of Guy Mid-Fall
Try not picturing this in slow motion.
Friday night was Midnight Madness across the country, celebrating the first moment NCAA basketball teams could hold an official practice. Here is how some of the top programs celebrated.
Kentucky Fans were wowed by a dunk contest, three-point competition and head coach John Calipari setting a world record for NCAA violations in 10 minutes.
Duke Players participated in a charge-taking competition.
Louisville Door prizes included season tickets, a signed basketball and, for one lucky female fan, a private dinner at Porcini Restaurant with head coach Rick Pitino.
Kansas Jayhawks basketball players competed with Jayhawks football players in boxing.
UConn Head coach Jim Calhoun interacted with fans by asking them to help him come up with new ways to cuss out and belittle his players. The first fan to make a freshman cry was awarded season tickets.
Villanova Head coach Jay Wright pumped up the crowd by sharing his Top 10 style tips.
Illinois Michael Jordan, father of guard Jeffrey Jordan, spoke for an hour about how awesome he is. Then head coach Bruce Weber had his players compete shirts-and-skins for loose balls while the homoerotic images of famed photographer Bruce Weber flashed on the Jumbotron above.
North Carolina Head coach Roy Williams brought back great players in Kansas Jayhawks history and then tried to lead the crowd in singing the Kansas Jayhawks fight song.
Gonzaga Former star Adam Morrison was welcomed back and current players took turns dunking on him.
West Virginia Once festivities began at midnight, head coach Bob Huggins quickly led everyone back out of the gym and into downtown Morgantown for a pub crawl until 2:00 a.m.
Penn State Fans were treated to Penn State players recreating famous plays in Penn State football history.
Memphis An effigy of John Calipari was set on fire, then everyone in attendance lined up and took turns urinating on it until the flames were out. Then it was re-lit and everyone queued again to spit on it.
Basketball coaching legend John Wooden may have turned 99 today, but that didn't stop him from celebrating the way a virile man half his age or even one-fifth his age might celebrate: by hitting up his favorite strip club.
"Woooo! Making it rain!" Wooden cried out as he tossed two dollar bills and 50-cent pieces on a stripper giving him a lap dance as Jay-Z's "99 Problems" blasted in the background. "There's a pyramid of success up in my pants!"
Wooden spent the afternoon at Leggs Bar in Burbank, Calif., a strip club he calls his favorite of the hundreds in and around Los Angeles.
"When you're alive for almost a century, you get to a lot of strip clubs," said Wooden. "And this one is the best. A, it's all nude. B, they let you touch. C, they have a great buffet. And D, they have free caramels. I love caramels."
The staff at Leggs were, of course, honored to have the legend choose their establishment on his special day.
"John Wooden! Wow!" said dancer Kandi Diamond (real name Deb Kinsmeister). "I think I was in a porno a few years ago with a John Wood. Is this the same guy? The scene called for me to get it from behind, so I never saw the guy's face. He looks pretty bad. Is he sick? He didn't give me AIDS, did he?"
Dancer Delicious Smith, a young Russian girl born Katarina Malachev, said she is not familiar with Wooden, but found him to be nice.
"He didn't hit me," said Smith. "He the nicest man I ever meet."
Wooden said he had a great time at Leggs and hopes to be back next year to celebrate his 100th birthday. And as for those who might criticize the legend for frequenting strip clubs, Wooden says they are misguided.
"I will not apologize for appreciating the beautiful creation that is the female body," he said. "And how does no one realize that my so-called 'pyramid of success' is actually shaped like a breast?"
As state and university budgets continue to shrink due to the worldwide recession, many schools around the country have begun looking for ways to generate revenue from within. And one of the most lucrative sources of cash is being found within the athletic department.
"We slaughtered Bevo and sold his meat for $2,119," said Texas head football coach Mack Brown. "That's cash-in-hand for our athletic department. That's enough to keep our women's diving team going for three years, with some money left over to fund field hockey, too."
In addition to Bevo's meat, Texas sold his hide to a tannery for $475 and auctioned off his head to a football booster for an undisclosed sum.
"When the decision was made that Bevo was going to be slaughtered, I knew I had to get his head," said Tommie Davis, an oilman who graduated from Texas in 1967. His final bid bested one put together by a group of Oklahoma fans. "I've got it mounted atop my the fireplace in my great room now. I couldn't be prouder."
Other schools have followed Texas' lead, such as Baylor killing their live bear mascot, Judge, and LSU doing the same to Mike The Tiger. LSU raised additional funds by selling $100 tickets for a Mike The Tiger hunt.
"I understand how this can be a little emotional for some fans. But if and when the economy turns around, we'll just buy another Tiger," said LSU head football coach Les Miles. "They've got, literally, dozens of them in Africa. It's not that big of a deal. It's too bad our current one had to die. But I know I'll never forget the rush that I got when I shot him behind the ears. There's a lot of blood in a tiger!"
Still more schools plan to follow suit with their mascots, although a few are feeling resistance.
"We would have sold off parts of Uga months ago," says Damon Evans, Georgia's director of athletics. "But we don't have the same luxury many of these schools do. Kill a steer, kill a bear, kill a tiger fine. But try to kill a dog and sell it's meat and hide and people freak out. Well, that's fine, but then we're going to lose our women's cross country team. Is that what they want?"
Then there are schools like Penn State who are facing resistance of another kind.
"I don't want to die," says Steve Smenko, a junior sociology major who plays the Nittany Lion. "But the board of trustees is voting tonight and then I'll find out my fate. I wish I would have listened to my parents and never become the mascot."
Tennessee head men's basketball coach Bruce Pearl has some egg on his stupid face after telling an unfortunate joke about his home state at a charity event last week.
Said Pearl: "I've got a tough job. I've got to put these guys from different worlds together, right? I've got guys from Chicago, Detroit I'm talking about the 'hood! And I've got guys from Grainger County, where they wear the hood.''
Wait? That's it? We're not allowed to say anymore that rural parts of Tennessee can be a bit racist-y? Okay. Whatever.
But that line wasn't even the worst one Pearl had originally considered using in his speech.
Take a look at these:
"You know, Tennessee is a beautiful state. Before I moved here I didn't know you had so many mountains. Now it's my goal to mount Pat Summitt." Bruce Pearl
"No, I'm kidding. I really want to fk Lane Kiffin's wife. That's not a joke. I'd like to check under that hood, if you know what I mean." Bruce Pearl
"Does Lane Kiffin seem retarded to anyone else? Ah, why am I asking you people? You're all inbred retards. That's even worse. Your retard minds probably think Lane Kiffin is a genius." Bruce Pearl
"Have you weirdos ever actually read the lyrics to Rocky Top? 'Once there was a girl onrockytop /Half bear the other half cat /Wild as a mink, sweet as soda pop /I still dream about that.' What the fk does that mean? You people sleep with wildcats and sheep?" Bruce Pearl
"I love speaking at charity events. I've got a semi right now. What? This is a children's charity? Too late. I'm fully engorged." Bruce Pearl
"Did you know that Pat Summitt's given name was Pat Head? Really. Sometimes jokes just write themselves." Bruce Pearl
In Rick Pitino's first press conference following the news about his restaurant tryst, he invoked 9/11. In his latest press conference, he tried to shame the media for focusing on his story "on the day Ted Kennedy died" and said the media coverage of his dalliance and subsequent "health insurance" payment has made life "pure hell" for his wife.
A new SportsPickle play examines what Pitino's press conferences might look like this season.
Kentucky head basketball coach John Calipari promised Wildcats fans today that he would bring the program a national title that will quickly be stripped by the NCAA within the next five years.
"I know taking a program to the top and then destroying in such a short time is a bold goal," said Calipari. "But I am confident I can do it. I feel my whole career has been preparing me for this goal."
Calipari has almost done it before. He took UMass to a Final Four in 1996, although that appearance was later vacated due to payments made by an agent to star center Marcus Camby. In 2008 he took Memphis to a Final Four, the championship game and to within seconds of a national title. But that season's accomplishments were completely wiped from the record books due to the Tigers using an ineligible player: star point guard Derrick Rose, whose SAT exam was taken by someone else.
Calipari says the Memphis lost hurt the most.
"I knew we were going to have that whole season vacated eventually because we cheated our asses off," he said. "But we would have had something to show for it had we won the title. Losing in the last seconds meant we had nothing. They can take a win wins, but they can never take away the pride you feel in your heart over fraudulent success."
With that bitter taste in his mouth and a new $31.65 million contract lining his pockets Calipari is more determined than ever to cheat his way to a title.
"I will cut every corner, not dot any I's, not cross any T's," he said. "I was brought here to win a title and I will do anything to make it happen and fast. The NCAA is a completely toothless organization, but even they might kick me out at some point. So I have to get moving."
Kentucky athletic director Mitch Barnhart is excited about Calipari's vow and determination.
"A vacated NCAA title wow, that would be awesome!" he said. "It's hard enough to win an NCAA title as is, winning one on the up-and-up is almost impossible. That's why we brought Coach Cal in. We think he has the right mix of basketball smarts and total lack of ethics to bring us the trophy. So what that the NCAA will take it back soon after? We'll make replicas."
Calipari says his first step is improving the talent at Kentucky.
"Lebron James is a free agent after this season and he has all of his college eligibility left," said Calipari. "I think I can get him here. I think he'll be interested to learn that, unlike in the NBA, my players aren't subjected to a salary cap."
So who is really to blame for Rick Pitino's "indiscretion"? Rick Pitino knows: it's those no-good terrorists with their 9/11.
Here is Pitino's quote at his apology press conference: "When 9/11 hit, you needed a community to get you over it. In New York City, it was easy because everybody knew the devastation of that and they got each other over it. In Louisville, the impact wasn't felt like New York City, but I needed this community to help me get over it."
Umm. Okay. Invoking 9/11 after cheating on your wife. Classy.
So, maybe Pitino isn't exactly blaming 9/11 for banging a mom on a restaurant floor (while his assistant slept on the floor nearby), impregnating the woman and then later paying for her abortion. But he is at least saying that this current personal crisis has impacted him almost as much as the Twin Towers falling.
And you wondered what women saw in Rick Pitino. His dong is as big as a skyscraper.