Grant Hill promised a response to the "Fab Five" doc*mentary that aired on ESPN Sunday night — and in particular the language Jalen Rose and others used to describe Duke's black players — and he delivered: the New York Times just posted his response and it's fantastic. Since you all hate Duke you'll probably disagree and say things like "Grant Hill responding to Jalen Rose in a NY Times op-ed perfectly encapsulates why people hate Duke basketball so fervently," as one guy on my Twitter feed just did (unfollow). But hopefully you'll at least give it a read, and make sure you read to the end: it's got quite the kicker.
A few of my favorite quotes are after the jump.
UPDATE: Grant has posted the full, unedited version of the op-ed on his website. (Someone explain to me why the New York Times needed to edit the piece "for space considerations" if it was being posted online. Unless it's set to appear on the actual op-ed page tomorrow.)
On Uncle Toms:
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.
On other black Duke players:
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.
On building character:
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.
UPDATE: From the unedited version, regarding Jimmy King:
And, I wonder if I would have suggested to former Detroit Pistons GM Rick Sund to keep Jimmy King on the team if I had known, back then in the mid-90s, that he would call me a b*tch on a nationally televised show in 2011.