Team USA’s basketball roster is set, but not everyone is pleased with the selections.
Jalen Rose — ESPN commentator and 13-year NBA veteran — is upset that Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love made the U.S. Olympic team roster, not just because of his play on the court, but because of the color of his skin.
On Rose’s show “Jalen and Jacoby,” Rose called Love’s selection to the team “tokenism.”
“Kevin Love is on the team because of tokenism,” Rose said. “Don’t be scared to make an all-black team representing the United States of America. I’m disappointed by that.”
“Anybody that watched the league this year knows Kevin Love did not have a stellar season, was not the best player on his team, and did not necessarily deserve to be on this squad.”
Apparently Rose didn’t take much time to do his research because the 2016 U.S. Olympics basketball team was an all-black roster.
Due to injuries, Love did not have a ton of success in his 13th NBA season, playing in only 25 games and averaging just 12.2 points per game — his lowest average since his rookie season. But Love is well-respected within the league and is a five-time All-Star and an NBA champion.
More importantly, the Olympic basketball team struggled to get NBA stars to participate in the Olympic Games. Injuries and a shortened offseason due to the pandemic have caused many of the game’s greats to pass on the opportunity.
LeBron James confirmed that he’ll be spending the offseason playing for the “Tune Squad” instead of the Olympic team, Anthony Davis is rehabbing from a groin injury, James Harden has withdrawn his name due to a hamstring injury, and Steph Curry has also opted out.
Rose also spoke on the selection of Duke legend Christian Laettner to the “Dream Team ” in 1992, claiming that either Alonzo Mourning or Shaquille O’Neal should have been selected over Laettner.
“I also know the favoritism that Christian Laettner was shown when he got a chance to be put on the Dream Team ahead of Shaq and Alonzo.” Rose said. “But they made it so that a college player can even get on and gave him favoritism.”
It’s important to note that Rose and Laettner have a long history. Laettner’s Duke basketball team defeated Rose’s Michigan squad in the 1992 NCAA Championship game. The two have traded words in the years since, with Rose calling out Laettner in the 30 for 30 documentary “The Fab Five.”
Rose’s comments come just one day after ESPN’s Jay Williams falsely claimed that the Boston Celtics’ hiring of head coach Ime Udoka was the first head coach of color in franchise history.
“The first head coach of color for the Celtics … & even more importantly… he is one talented individual who has paid his dues,” Williams posted to Twitter.
Not a very bright man this Jay Williams character. Has he ever heard of Bill Russell, Doc Rivers, KC Jones, ML Carr, Tom Sanders? pic.twitter.com/0F0DAGZooI
— Sports Rabbi (@thesportsrabbi) June 23, 2021
Udoka is in fact the sixth head coach of color in Boston’s history.
Williams later deleted the post, seeming to claim his account had been hacked.
As it relates to the Boston Celtics tweet that came from my account a couple of hours ago… I did not post that & my passcode has now been changed.
— Jay Williams (@RealJayWilliams) June 23, 2021
Rose’s comments and Williams’ tweet will more than likely go unnoticed by ESPN as their talent continue to push the race narrative. Rose is disappointed that Love made the U.S. Olympic team, but it is we who should be disappointed in Rose.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.