When the Nuggets selected Rose with the 13th pick in the 1994 draft, I could not have been happier. I was just 12 years-old at the time and Rose was my favorite player. I tried to watch every Michigan game I could, but they were hard to come by in Colorado. Rose's favorite player status with me was only solidified after I read Mitch Albom's book The Fab Five: Basketball, trash talk, the American dream. I was crushed when Bernie Bickerstaff traded Rose in June of 1996 - after just two seasons in Denver.
I kept up with Rose's career and rooted him on during his stops in Indiana, Chicago, Toronto, New York, and Phoenix. In all, Rose made approximately $102 million during his time in the league; incredible. He's now an employee of ESPN and Grantland. His podcasts, The Jalen Rose Report, are must listens as you get a pretty good scoop from an ex-player; very entertaining. He pokes a little fun at the city of Denver from time-to-time and frankly, I can't stand that, but it is what it is - it'd be cool to catch him at a Nuggets game at some point.
While listening to his podcast from August 14th I was pleasantly surprised to hear his take on the Nuggets and Brian Shaw. It's not ground breaking stuff, but it does fall a bit in line with what Jeff Morton wrote about in his "What if" column (and which you should read if you haven't).
Below is a transcript of Jalen and Dave Jacoby talking a little bit about the Nuggets. You can also watch the video, where Jalen holds a baseball bat during each and every show!
Jalen Rose: Why do you think Phil Jackson has 11 championships and now just has his first coaching disciple, with a head job, in Brian Shaw and Gregg Popovich has 4 championships and 11 of his former coaches either have head jobs and/or are executives in the NBA. Why do you think Pop has 11 and Phil has one?
(Keep in mind that Jackson has Kurt Rambis get a shot as a head coach in Minnesota. Jacoby and Rose were discussing ESPN's Western Conference predictions where the Nuggets were ranked at the No. 7 seed out West)
Rose: Somebody that was under his (Phil Jackson's) leadership is Brian Shaw. And I think the Nuggets should be higher on that list also. I think the Nuggets are going to have a better regular season record than the San Antonio Spurs.
Rose: Let me tell you the slept on team of that list - the Denver Nuggets will be in the top four.
Dave Jacoby: Whoa! Who do they replace then? The Rockets?
Rose: I think they are better than the Rockets.
Jacoby: There's a lot to be seen with the Rockets. They've got the biggest X-factor in the league in Dwight Howard.
Rose: No it ain't no thought. I think Denver is better than the Rockets.
Jacoby: I disagree. I think you're talking crazy right now. I'm glad we are recording this.
Jacoby: Gallinari is constantly hurt; he's always hurt.
Rose (continuing to list guys on Denver's roster he likes): JaVale McGee.
Jacoby: Gallinari runs like my dad.
Jacoby: Uh huh.
Rose: Name me the other two.
Jacoby: I don't know.
While we still will not know how the Nuggets will play until the season actually begins, it is nice to hear Rose's take. People have been predicting a less than .500 record, a lower playoff seed, and now Rose with Denver perhaps as a top-four seed out West. It's like throwing darts with a blindfold on at this point.
I can't wait to see how Shaw coaches the team and how the player respond to his style. It will also be interesting to see how team chemistry forms and if the team will again be a close knit group like we started to see last year.
Time will tell.
Jacoby and Jalen rose on The Jalen Rose Report: 8/14: The talk above starts at the 27:18 mark.
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