On his podcast on ESPN’s Grantland Network, Jalen Rose made a serious admission in a clip released on Tuesday.
In the audio clip Rose admits that as a member of the Indiana Pacers during the 2000 NBA Finals, he intentionally tried to injure Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant. As Bryant went up for a jump shot, Rose stuck his foot under the Lakers’ superstar, in the hopes that he would land on it, turning an ankle, or worse.
Bryant did, in fact, land on Rose’s foot during the second quarter of Game 2 of that series. Bryant played just nine minutes in that game (which the Lakers won by seven), and missed Game 3, which the Pacers won 100-91.
Rose said the following in the clip:
“NBA Finals, 2000. Kobe. Bean. Bryant. Goes up for a jump shot on the right wing, I contest the jump shot, Kobe lands on my foot. He hobbles off, and he actually misses the next game.”
“Now, if it was up to me? If it was up to me? He should’ve just missed the whole series. I would have had a championship ring, and it’d be no harm, no foul.”
After badgering from his producer Dave Jacoby, Rose said the following:
“I can’t say that it was an accident.”
When Jacoby asks him how he has maintained a strong relationship with Bryant, Rose replied:
“He never knew I did it on purpose. But now he does.”
As a former basketball player I can tell you, the foot trick on a jump shot is one of, if not the dirtiest play in the game. Essentially sticking your leg out so someone lands on it and is injured is just plain wrong.