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Posted on Tue, Mar 29, 2011 : 4:38 p.m.

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski breaks silence on Fab Five documentary

By Staff

Just when you thought the subject was dead ...

After declining to comment on the Fab Five documentary in the days before his team met Michigan in an NCAA tournament third-round game, Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski admonished the production on Tuesday.

In a radio interview on ESPN 1000 in Chicago, Krzyzewski said the documentary was "very insulting to everyone here at Duke" and he later questioned the impact the Fab Five recruiting class had at Michigan.

The Fab Five documentary aired on ESPN on March 13. In it, Jalen Rose said he thought the black players Duke recruited in the early 1990s were "Uncle Toms."

"Obviously, that was a poor choice of words and very insulting to everyone here at Duke but especially, not just our African-American players, but any African-American students," Krzyzewski said on "The Waddle & Silvy Show," which was being co-hosted by one of his former Duke players, Jay Williams. "When you judge within a race, you start judging, like you put categories as to who you are. I think that's just the wrong thing to do."

Later, Krzyzewski said of the Fab Five's legacy:

"They had a heck of a run but, they didn't leave anything, they didn't establish anything there. The guys that I had established something that Jay Williams continued to do 10 years later, the standards of what it meant to be a Duke basketball player."

Williams, now an an analyst for ESPN, said he received a text from Rose before the documentary aired saying the comments did not pertain to him.

"Listen, I know that it's obviously how Jalen reflected upon it when he was a 19-year-old kid," Williams said of the Uncle Tom comment. "But, I think the thing that got a lot of people disgruntled was the fact that he never came out and said, 'Listen, this is not how I feel now' in the documentary."

More details and a link to an audio replay of the interview are available on ESPN Chicago.



Fri, Apr 1, 2011 : 3:07 a.m.

Duke recruited respectable kids who wouldn't leave their basketball program in ruins for decades. Fisher couldn't command respect and led the program down...


Thu, Mar 31, 2011 : 3:20 p.m.

As a native Michigander and a Duke graduate, Jalen Rose was offensive to many folks with his comments. Yes, I was quite insulted by his comments. But in the end, you have to wonder how much did jealousy came into play? If you had a choice would you choose Jimmy Walker or Calvin Hill for a father? If you had a choice would you choose Duke's legacy during the Fab Five's run (2 National Championships) or probation that devastated your school's proud basketball tradition? And forget about all that. The Fab Five was 0-3 versus Duke, never won the Big Ten, called an incredibly stupid time out to seal their fate in the NC game against Carolina fan (as a Duke grad, I still can't forgive Webber for handing UNC the trophy on that bone head time out). I think of the Fab Five as a talented group of players who had a great run. But when I think of Michigan basketball, I think of Glenn Rice, Ricky Green, Phil Hubbard, and Cazzie Russell. Guys who played hard - and did need to &quot;talk&quot; to back up their game. Finally, let's have Grant Hill weigh in. His comments speak volumes regarding this topic. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Thu, Mar 31, 2011 : 3:21 p.m.

Meant &quot;did not need to talk to back up their game.

Disco D

Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 12:12 p.m.

Jalen's role as a color analyst didn't quite prepare him for a high quality and balanced documentary. To me, this was a one sided view of what the Fab 5 thought was their legacy. It pains me that the outcome of their time here is mostly negative. I hate Duke but respect them for the type of program they have. Rose's documentary showed lack of respect.


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 11:59 a.m.

It feels frustrating and painful to hear sound bites that are ill informed or signs of underlying ignorance. Race, class and other divisions (age, disability, gender, sexual orientation, etc.) lead to hard-to-shake beliefs aligned with stereotypes. I wish it weren't so. Lies pass through my mind regularly. I learned most of these through what people I loved and strangers modeled around me as a child. I am not interested in fanning the flames, respecting lies as reality, but they are persistent little devils. The best way I know to move on this is to get to know members of groups from whom I was separated. Where did Jalen Rose, or you for that matter, get help navigating this minefield of cultural nonsense. Please don't blame him or me for whatever ignorance I show you. Please don't blame. I'd like Jalen to be able to be a hero, to model how to be clear in this murky territory. Jalen gets to tackle whatever changes in perception he can as he can pay attention to it. Me too. You too. Well-intended, new information sometimes can help.


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 7:26 a.m.

I think it was over the top to say those things in that documentary. The Fab Five were legendary but calling names and talking trash on air was over the top. Not true also that Duke only recruits from well to do families. Coach K will recruit any player who can take them to the final four! lol! Not true that the Fab Five left nothing, they left a new culture due to them being over achievers in what was expected of them in 2 years. It would have been great to see them play together when they were juniors and seniors.


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 2:08 a.m.

I think Rose should simply have kept his mouth shut during the documentary and not said anything that inflammatory. What the heck does it accomplish today except stir up bad feelings and create more controversy? I don't blame the former Duke players or Coach K for reacting negatively. I would much rather see former Michigan players show both common sense and class when talking about their former opponents. There's a time and a place for trash talking and this wasn't it.


Tue, Mar 29, 2011 : 11:49 p.m.

Ex-Michigan star Jalen Rose charged with drunk driving The former University of Michigan star was arrested March 11 in West Bloomfield and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, said West Bloomfield police. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>

Davood Rejali

Tue, Mar 29, 2011 : 10:21 p.m.

I'm a huge Michigan fan, but nowhere in the documentary did Rose say he felt differently today. I don't believe he's stated this publicly in response to this criticism. either. It would've taken just a few seconds of comments on film to have avoided this whole issue. Of course, maybe this was the desired result and perhaps things have been blown out of proportion.

Ed Marod

Tue, Mar 29, 2011 : 9:54 p.m.

Apparently Coach K got no better education at Archbishop Weber High School and The United States Military Academy than Grant Hill got at Duke. If either one of them could understand spoken English, and had taken time to actually watch &quot;The Fab Five&quot; they would have realized that what Rose was expressing was what he and the other members of the Five were thinking back when they were recruited as underprivileged black men. He was not expressing what he believes now. He was not expressing what the rest of the Five believe now. He was accurately portraying what they thought then. What they thought then was that any black player that went to Duke had to be an Uncle Tom. For Coach K and Grant Hill to be offended TODAY over what those guys thought twenty years ago does not speak highly of them. Instead, they should be gratified that after they beat the Five all those times, they said &quot;Wait a minute. These guys have game!&quot;