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Jalen Rose Accuses USA Basketball of Tokenism, Embarrasses Himself in Process

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Jalen Rose, former NBA player and current cohost of ESPN’s Jalen & Jacoby show alongside network show producer David Jacoby, asserted on the show Thursday that Kevin Love’s inclusion on the Team USA men’s basketball squad competing in this year’s Tokyo Olympics is due to “tokenism” and not merit, adding that in his opinion Love’s inclusion is due to Team USA not wishing to put an all-black team on the floor.

Rose, whose shtick is trying to come off as Young Man Street when his birth certificate reveals Old Man Sesame, had stated earlier in the show, when comparing Hawks guard Trae Young and Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, “The only thing they have in common is that they’re black.” Silence from cohost Jacoby. Imagine such a comment about Luka Doncic and Nikola Jokic … naah, that would get ignored, too. Because white. And European, to boot.

The comments regarding Love start at 16:30. Jacoby, who for the record is white, asked Rose his opinion of the roster. Rose’s reply was as follows:

“I’m excited about the roster and I assume … and I know we’re going to win the gold. But I’m disappointed in something. As I do this show every day, I do it in front of a picture of Tommy Smith and John Carlos raising their fists at the Olympics. 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. But they made it so that a college player could even get on and gave him favoritism.

But this level of — and I’ve got a word for it — Kevin Love is on the team because of tokenism. 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. And I’m not going to take him off the squad

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