“You Got to Give Them What They Want” By Jalen Rose

I got to admit I didn’t grow up in the same living conditions as Jalen Rose did. Some of it is hard for me to imagine. He went through a lot at a young age as he never knew his dad for the early part of his life. If it wasn’t for an adult trusted friend, he may never have found out.

However, he does harp many times on how things were for the black people and how they are for the white people many times in his life/career. He seems obsessed with making it an issue.

The early part of the book deals with growing up in the 80’s in Detroit, Michigan and the dreadful conditions of the city. He tells the story of how his mom made up his first name from parts of others that she loved. He tells of going to games as a youth and having to learn to be arrogant and cocky to get the opponents off their game. This was paramount to his future success in college. The game of basketball was easy for Jalen Rose.

In the book he deals with former teammates and opponents in the AAU circuit and how they become close friends and would someday go to the same college to make an impact.

We get an understanding how the “Fab Five” came about, the extra burden put upon them in college and games. He reveals how coach Steve Fisher was willing to order uniform shorts with a few inches on them to start a trend among college teams.

The march to a national championship was on their mind at Michigan as Chris Webber, Juwan Howard jelled into a tight knit group. But eventually the “timeout” changed things in their lives and each description of it drove them further apart. Webber was torn up over losing such a great friend.

Rose had a weird NBA career and his talks about how things weren’t always smooth and coaches weren’t always nice to him. He recollects it has something to do with all the press clippings he and the group got at Michigan. He puts the onus on Larry Brown and how mean spirited he was to him.

This is a book I thought I wouldn’t like as sometimes I don’t care for Jalen Rose’s opinion on his TV show. However, the book is different as it gets into the nitty-gritty of every step of his development towards his career in television.

Pick up the book for a light read with lots of interesting basketball stuff.