- Hardcover: 288 pages
- Publisher: Crown Archetype; First Edition edition (October 6, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0804138907
- ISBN-13: 978-0804138901
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1 x 9.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 111 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #181,108 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Got to Give the People What They Want: True Stories and Flagrant Opinions from Center Court Hardcover – October 6, 2015
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About the Author
JALEN ROSE is an ABC/ESPN analyst, executive producer of The Fab Five—the highest-rated documentary in ESPN history—and host of the Jalen Rose Report on Grantland and the Jacoby Podcast. Rose began his sports career at the University of Michigan where he reached two NCAA title games, and then went on to play for six teams in the NBA, most notably the Indiana Pacers when they made three consecutive Eastern Conference finals, including the 2000 NBA Finals. Rose established the Jalen Rose Foundation/Charitable Fund in 2000, personally donating close to $1.5 million to support the development and education of inner-city youths. His most substantial outreach initiative to date is the establishment of the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy (JRLA) in his hometown of Detroit.
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It is hard to argue with any of Mr. Rose’s observations or critiques of the business of basketball, but he does make one point that can be questioned. He points out that “the first step to trading a player is to trade him in the media [reduce his playing time and allow negative rumors to circulate] and let your fans know what might be coming.” So, while that means that the local fans will miss the player less, doesn’t it also reduce his trade value?
Mr. Rose has had several positive male adults in his life who set examples and helped steer him in the right direction. This book praises these men and recognizes their importance. Jimmy Walker, the former NBA All Star who impregnated Jalen Rose’s mother (as well as eleven other women whom he did not marry) was not one of them. Jimmy Walker was clearly not a father figure; but, for undisclosed reasons, this book just refers to him as Rose’s father, not his biological father. Jalen Rose never saw Jimmy Walker until Walker’s funeral in 2007, and the emptiness of that event had a big impact on Rose. He resolved to be a better person and one of the results of that epiphany is the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy, a charter high school in Detroit that opened in 2011. The average ninth grader comes into the JRLA reading and doing math at a fifth-grade level, but the school is committed to getting 85% of them to graduate from high school – and college! I do find it somewhat humorous that Mr. Rose claims he does not like golf because “if white people don't want me to join their clubs, then I don't want to play their game,” but the JRLA web site proudly announces the 6th Annual JRLA Celebrity Golf Outing Fund Raiser. Regardless, Mr. Rose deserves a lot of praise for contributing to the community where he grew up in such a positive way.
In many ways, Jalen Rose’s understanding of sports and life is unique, but his experience is representative of many other black athletes and entertainers. He points out that, “blacks and whites approach sports (and entertainment) completely differently. For white kids living in the cul-de-sacs, sports are a hobby. For black kids in the hood, it’s the only way out.” Mr. Rose is to be commended for providing another way out - the JRLA!
Mr. Rose laments that not enough black athletes are socially conscious when he asks, “With the exception of Magic and AIDS, name one black superstar athlete of that generation or later who’s made it a top priority to do something with his platform and bring real attention (and money) to a cause that means something to him.” He concludes that he can’t think of any. His overall point might be well taken, but what about Tiger Woods and David Robinson with their commitments to education? The Tiger Woods Learning Center has been in operation since 2006 and now serves 150,000 middle and high school students in six cities across the country. And David Robinson is helping the San Antonio community with the IDEA Carver Academy that serves students from Kindergarten through high school, 100% of whom are college bound.
This is not a political book, but one of the few political comments that Mr. Rose makes is disappointing. Mr. Rose criticizes Michael Jordan for saying “Republicans buy sneakers, too” and not being "more supportive of the kinds of things that Democrats and liberals tend to support." Mr. Rose's faith in Democrats and liberals is misplaced. He should know that Democrats and liberals support programs such as raising the minimum wage, which leads to increased unemployment, particularly among minorities and they tend to oppose school voucher programs, which are particularly beneficial to low-income, minority students.
Mr. Rose has little to say about his spiritual frame of reference in the body of the book, but it is uplifting to read his recognition of his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in the Acknowledgements.