Grant Hill Shuts Down Fab Five’s Jalen Rose in NY Times Sports Blog!

Posted on March 16, 2011 with No Comments

In this NY Time Sports blog, Grant Hill responds, in an articulate and educated manner, to Jalen Rose’s derogatory comments against him and other Duke basketball players made during the ESPN documentary The Fab Five.

 

March 16, 2011, 1:47 pm

Grant Hill’s Response to Jalen Rose

By Grant HIll

“The Fab Five,” an ESPN film about the Michigan basketball careers of Jalen Rose, Juwan Howard, Chris Webber, Jimmy King and Ray Jackson from 1991 to 1993, was broadcast for the first time Sunday night. In the show, Rose, the show’s executive producer, stated that Duke recruited only black players he considered to be “Uncle Toms.” Grant Hill, a player on the Duke team that beat Michigan in the 1992 Final Four, reflected on Rose’s comments.

I am a fan, friend and longtime competitor of the Fab Five. I have competed against Jalen Rose and Chris Webber since the age of 13. At Michigan, the Fab Five represented a cultural phenomenon that impacted the country in a permanent and positive way. The very idea of the Fab Five elicited pride and promise in much the same way the Georgetown teams did in the mid-1980s when I was in high school and idolized them. Their journey from youthful icons to successful men today is a road map for so many young, black men (and women) who saw their journey through the powerful documentary, “The Fab Five.”

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. I am aware Jalen has gone to some length to explain his remarks about my family in numerous interviews, so I believe he has some admiration for them.

In his garbled but sweeping comment that Duke recruits only “black players that were ‘Uncle Toms,’ ” Jalen seems to change the usual meaning of those very vitriolic words into his own meaning, i.e., blacks from two-parent, middle-class families. He leaves us all guessing exactly what he believes today.

I am beyond fortunate to have two parents who are still working well into their 60s. They received great educations and use them every day. My parents taught me a personal ethic I try to live by and pass on to my children.

I come from a strong legacy of black Americans. My namesake, Henry Hill, my father’s father, was a day laborer in Baltimore. He could not read or write until he was taught to do so by my grandmother. His first present to my dad was a set of encyclopedias, which I now have. He wanted his only child, my father, to have a good education, so he made numerous sacrifices to see that he got an education, including attending Yale.

This is part of our great tradition as black Americans. We aspire for the best or better for our children and work hard to make that happen for them. Jalen’s mother is part of our great black tradition and made the same sacrifices for him.

My teammates at Duke — all of them, black and white — were a band of brothers who came together to play at the highest level for the best coach in basketball. I know most of the black players who preceded and followed me at Duke. They all contribute to our tradition of excellence on the court.

It is insulting and ignorant to suggest that men like Johnny Dawkins (coach at Stanford), Tommy Amaker (coach at Harvard), Billy King (general manager of the Nets), Tony Lang (coach of the Mitsubishi Diamond Dolphins in Japan), Thomas Hill (small-business owner in Texas), Jeff Capel (former coach at Oklahoma and Virginia Commonwealth), Kenny Blakeney (assistant coach at Harvard), Jay Williams (ESPN analyst), Shane Battier (Memphis Grizzlies) and Chris Duhon (Orlando Magic) ever sold out their race.

To hint that those who grew up in a household with a mother and father are somehow less black than those who did not is beyond ridiculous. All of us are extremely proud of the current Duke team, especially Nolan Smith. He was raised by his mother, plays in memory of his late father and carries himself with the pride and confidence that they instilled in him.

The sacrifice, the effort, the education and the friendships I experienced in my four years are cherished. The many Duke graduates I have met around the world are also my “family,” and they are a special group of people. A good education is a privilege.

Just as Jalen has founded a charter school in Michigan, we are expected to use our education to help others, to improve life for those who need our assistance and to use the excellent education we have received to better the world.

A highlight of my time at Duke was getting to know the great John Hope Franklin, James B. Duke Professor of History and the leading scholar of the last century on the total history of African-Americans in this country. His insights and perspectives contributed significantly to my overall development and helped me understand myself, my forefathers and my place in the world.

Ad ingenium faciendum, toward the building of character, is a phrase I recently heard. To me, it is the essence of an educational experience. Struggling, succeeding, trying again and having fun within a nurturing but competitive environment built character in all of us, including every black graduate of Duke.

My mother always says, “You can live without Chaucer and you can live without calculus, but you cannot make it in the wide, wide world without common sense.” As we get older, we understand the importance of these words. Adulthood is nothing but a series of choices: you can say yes or no, but you cannot avoid saying one or the other. In the end, those who are successful are those who adjust and adapt to the decisions they have made and make the best of them.

I caution my fabulous five friends to avoid stereotyping me and others they do not know in much the same way so many people stereotyped them back then for their appearance and swagger. I wish for you the restoration of the bond that made you friends, brothers and icons.

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.

Grant Henry Hill
Phoenix Suns
Duke ‘94

VIDEO VIRUS: Homeless Man with Golden Voice, Ted Williams, Gets Second Chance

Posted on January 5, 2011 with 2 Comments

Ted Williams, the homeless man dubbed “the golden voice” is burning up the internet in a clip that shows him panhandling on an Ohio roadside.

Originally from Bedford-Stuyvesant in Brooklyn, NY, Williams talks about how alcohol and drugs led to his unfortunate situation and professes to being sober for two years.

Local newspaper the Columbus Dispatch posted the video clip on their site on Monday and by Wednesday morning Williams was making the rounds on national news programs. He first sat down with CBS Early Show and tearfully talked about looking forward to reuniting with his 92-year-old mother in Brooklyn.

The golden piped panhandler talks about finding God, appreciating this second chance at life and just wanting a job, a home, and opportunity to get his life back to a “responsible area of a 53-year-old man, a tax paying citizen…”

Blindie loves this overnight internet sensation much more than Antoine Dodson!

LISTEN TO THIS: Raible’s Round-Up of the Best 2010 Albums

Posted on January 4, 2011 with No Comments

It may have been rough economic times during 2010, but the music played on -some of it bad, some of it good. Some of it so good it made it onto ABCNews blogger Allan Raible’s list of “Top 50 Best Albums of 2010″

Why does Blindie love this list? Because it features Bloc Party’s Kele Okereke, Cee-Lo Green, and Daft Punk’s “Tron” soundtrack.

Here are the Top Five and the Bottom Five:

1. BROKEN BELLS – “BROKEN BELLS”
2. DUM DUM GIRLS – “I WILL BE”
3. MARTINA TOPLEY-BIRD – “SOME PLACE SIMPLE”
4. DAFT PUNK – “TRON: LEGACY”
5. GIRL TALK – “ALL DAY”
………………..
45. SURFER BLOOD – “ASTRO COAST”
46. PETE YORN – “PETE YORN”
47. MASSIVE ATTACK – “HELIGOLAND”
48. NEIL YONG – “LE NOISE”
49.CORINNE BALEY RAE – “THE SEA”
50. KELE -“THE BOXER”
Read the entire list here:

WATCH THIS: Tokens battle for white friends

Posted on October 18, 2010 with No Comments

Token from Brandon Johnson

Watch this hilarious Funny or Die video Token!
Kulap Vilaysack is a scream as a self-described “token” amongst her white friends, or as she calls it, “a fleck of yellow in a sea of white” until she meets their other friend played by Brandon Johnson -the black token. But Vilaysack is not about to lose her reign and warns him, “this is a one token town. ONE. So time for you to Bell Biv and GO!”

Obama Gets Book Thrown at Him; Culprit Does Not

Posted on October 11, 2010 with No Comments

A lone paperback book was hurled at President Barack Obama as he finished up his speech during a Democratic rally in Philadelphia on Sunday. Although the book missed the President, and he seemingly failed to notice the literary attack, the offender was apprehended by the Secret Service but released after “he was deemed not to be a threat…,” according to Special Agent Edwin Donovan in Washington and just wanted the President to read his book.

Earlier in the rally the local police arrested 24 year-old Juan James Rodriguez for attempting to streak past the President. It is believed that the stunt was prompted by the website battlecam.com’s offer of a million dollars for such a stunt.

Blindie wants to know the name of the book that was hurled at the President and why a university student who asks questions during a John Kerry rally gets tasered and a hack-author can hurl a book at the President and all he gets is apprehended.

Aretha Franklin’s Biopic Dream Cast: Halle and Denzel

Posted on September 10, 2010 with 2 Comments

Listen up folks! The Queen of Soul has reached down into her bosom, pulled out her wish list of actors to star in a film version of her autobiography “Aretha: From These roots,” and it’s nothing short of award-winning!

In a written press release Franklin says she would love, none other than, Academy Award winners Halle Berry to play a younger version of herself, Denzel Washington to portray her father, Reverend C.L. Franklin, and Academy Award nominee Terence Howard to play some hazel-eyed, pimp-suited, smooth guy -no wait, that was every other film he’s been in – to play Smokey Robinson.

Blindie cannot wait to see Ms. Berry get down and dirty to some down south rhythm and blues!

WATCH THIS: Super Sleek Animation Action Hero Vol. V

Posted on July 9, 2010 with 12 Comments

Take a peek at this animation short as it takes you on a sleek adventure through a noirish world of smooth music and an elusive action hero. Animator and director Etop Akpabio borrows style from comic strips and spy films and adds an impressive soundtrack.

Ok ok, so you have to sit through the commercial in the beginning, but hey it’s the one with Carlton dancing like Michael Jackson!