For more than two decades, Jalen Rose has been a ubiquitous presence around the NBA universe. Even before he got to the league, he made waves in the basketball world as a member of the infamous “Fab Five” at Michigan in the 1990s, which popularized an unapologetic style and attitude that ultimately revolutionized the sport forever.
After an NBA career that spanned 13 seasons and six different teams, Rose has since lent his inimitable voice to the broadcast world as an analyst for ESPN and as an influential podcaster on Jalen & Jacoby, which started on Grantland and eventually evolved into a television show on ESPN2 and a podcast on ESPN.
When he’s not co-hosting NBA Countdown and Get Up!, he’s directing his efforts toward more altruistic pursuits like the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy, a free public charter school in the Detroit area that that serves more than 400 underprivileged students.
We caught up with Rose last week to survey the landscape of the league as we head toward the postseason, and the result was a wide-ranging discussion about the true contenders in each conference, how the league should handle hostile fans, what’s making players like Kyrie Iriving so testy with the media, and the NBA’s podcasting boom.