After more than a decade of keeping things bottled up, holding a secret inside must have finally gotten to Jalen Rose. Rose came clean this week about the 2000 NBA Finals where his Indiana Pacers lost to Kobe Bryant’s L.A. Lakers.
In Game 2, Bryant went up for a jumper and came down on Rose’s foot, twisting his ankle and causing him to miss the rest of the game and all of Game 3. It looks like an accident (at the 1:30 mark), but Rose says he actually was trying to take out Bryant.
"Kobe Bean Bryant goes up for a jump shot out on the right wing," Rose told Grantland.com. "I contest the jump shot. Kobe lands on my foot. He hobbles off and actually misses the next game. If it was up to me, he should've just missed the whole series. I would've had a championship ring and it would've been no harm, no foul."
But Bryant didn’t miss the whole series. He just missed two games and he came back and led the Lakers to the championship. Rose never got one. I guess that just goes to show you that cheaters never win.
Rose also had to witness Bryant’s 81-point performance as a member of the Toronto Raptors.
I’m not sure why Jalen Rose is coming clean about this now. Maybe he’s tired of having a string of bad luck and he thinks this is to blame. Maybe he’s having nightmares. Or maybe no one asked him until now. If you look at the video, it’s not blatantly obvious that he stuck his foot in there on purpose.
Either way, it’s not a classy move by Rose, even if it was 12 years ago. No athlete should ever want to win at the expense of another athlete’s health. I know it happens more than it should these days, but it’s truly despicable. I’m glad most pro players aren’t willing to do things like that.
Image: Orlando Sentinel