Jalen Rose on Why It’s No Fun to Be a Superstar - OZY | A Modern Media Company

WHY YOU SHOULD CARE

Because Jalen Rose has played with, and been around, some of the best to ever play the game of basketball.

By Sean Braswell

Former NBA star and basketball analyst Jalen Rose sat down with OZY’s co-founder and CEO on The Carlos Watson Show to talk about his thoughts on the greatest athletes of all time and what drives them. Here are some of the best bites from their hourlong conversation, which can be found on The Carlos Watson Show podcast feed.

Why the Best Have No Fun

Carlos Watson: One of the things that I’ve never fully understood is that you will see guys who physically look the same, and then one guy will be a lot better. Why do certain guys, even if physically they don’t seem more gifted than the other guys, why do they ascend? Why does Tom Brady become called the greatest of all time?

Jalen Rose: I was out there and saw LeBron James scored 55 points. I was out there and saw Kobe Bryant score 81 points. I was there when Michael Jordan did the last dance and had his sixth championship. What separates those guys from everybody else, is this right here [pointing at his head]. Because just think about it when you young and you playing ball on a playground and whatever, there’s some guys that want to play one or two games and there’s some dudes who want to play all day. There’s some dudes that want to go work out, there’s some dudes that want to rest. And then you got those maniacal dudes. They’re like, I’m going to do whatever it takes. Michael Jordan, did he have fun? You ever seen him have fun? Did Kobe Bryant have fun? Is Bill Belichick enjoying life? What do you think when you see him, right? That’s the difference in those dudes.

The Best Business Advice He’s Received

CW: What’s the best piece of business advice you’ve ever gotten?

JR: There was an incident happened in Detroit where somebody got murdered. I didn’t know the person, but it was in my hometown. Isaiah Thomas, Hall of Fame, Detroit Piston who’s coaching me at Indiana, he brought me into the office. He knew all of the stuff I was doing in the community, but he also knew when I went home, I was going home. I was on the block. I was sitting on the porch … and so he brought me into the office. He was like, “The best way you can be a role model to your community is for them to see you doing something, not for you to be sitting next to them.”

On His Mom and the Name She Gave Him

CW: I’ve heard you talk about your mom. Who was she? 

JR: She has everything to do with who I am. She has been my No. 1 fan, and my toughest critic. And she always knew the difference between patting me on the back and kicking me in the butt. And I needed it. … And she created the name Jalen. It’s a combination of James, my biological father, and my uncle Leonard, that took her to the hospital to give birth. So now since 1991, you’re going to see a lot of people named Jalen. I’m the elder statesman of the group. My mother made that name up. … So, when I started to realize that, it gave me a new level of responsibility, that I got to represent. Because every day of my life, I have people coming up to me telling me, “I got a son, I got a daughter, I’ve got a cousin that named them after you.”… And so, I started to embrace and accept that. And it, to be honest with you, fueled me as a man. Because I realized the responsibility that came with it. 

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