AHHA: Whats the funniest thing that a heckler has ever said to you?
Jalen: Whos your daddy? – because my daddy, for NBA fans, was the number-one pick in the 1967 draft, a guy named Jimmy Walker. Anybody that knows that also knows that Ive never met him still to this day. Hopefully well meet. I guess if I go knock on his door and Im standing there when the doorbell rings Ill meet him. I guess Im willing to do that because I dont have any hard feelings. Its not like Im unhappy with my life or Im living under a freeway. He did give me this direct seed and talent, I give him credit for that. Thats probably one of the craziest things fans say when they try to get personal.
AHHA: What do you think of And 1 basketball players?
Jalen: I think they work hard. Basketball is just like rap, everybody has their element. Its kinda like I dont buy Will Smith CDs, but I go see his movies – but when I talk about great rappers hell never come up. Them brothers got a talent at not only playing streetball, but its hard doing them damn tricks. For anybody that plays ball, you think that because youre Clyde Frazier you can be on the Harlem Globetrotters, that aint true. [And] just because you on the Harlem Globetrotters, that dont mean you could be Clyde Frazier. They put it down, I support them and watch it on TV. I actually play with a streetball legend in Rafer Alston. My favorite streetball player right now is probably Hot Sauce.
AHHA: Does the NBA allow you guys to discuss the failure of the WNBA?
Jalen: You could say anything you wanna say, at least I can. Im a basketball fan so I root for the WNBA. I dont know if [its] because of marketing or if the masses havent gravitated totally to professional womens sports.
AHHA: Do you think that theres anything they could do as far as changing the schedule that would be beneficial?
Jalen: I think it would be more beneficial to the WNBA if they find a way to tie in literally to the NBA and not keep it so totally separate. I aint sayin they should be a JV team, and then we come out there and play, but I think they should try to tie it in a little more.
AHHA: You do a lot of charity work. Whats been the best part of participating in the Raptors All-Star Reading Team, and then your efforts with your Jalen Rose Foundation?
Jalen: The best part of charity to me is its genuine. A lot of people come up to me and they say they wish more people did what I do charity-wise, or they tell me how much they appreciate what I do. I tell them charity comes from the heart. Just because you got a big contract, you had a good game last night and you got a famous face, dont make you charitable. Charity to me is always to lend a helping hand. Id like to use the term, Everybody needs somebody to put em in the game. Wherever you work you needed somebody to hire you. Whenever you play you need the coach to put you in the game, you need a teammate to pass you the ball. It all ties in together, so the best part for me is to do what Im supposed to do which is to lend a helping hand.
Im a God fearing man – thats what Im supposed to do. Im just blessed, so I try to do what I can to bless others, because I know what its like not to have. Me not having doesnt make me charitable either. For example, the disaster with Hurricane Katrina let me give you an analogy. You could help more than just giving money. You could give clothes, time and energy – you could help carry the supplies to the people in need. Its always ways to help.
AHHA: You DJ in pretty much every city you play for. Whats your favorite city to spin in?
Jalen: Toronto is my favorite city to spin in, cause really when you a DJ its all about the club. It aint really all about where its at or whos saying what or whos there. Its about the atmosphere, the day, the sound, the lights. Its all on the crowd, but the first thing that comes to my mind when I say music is New York. Straight up, thats the only place Im getting off the airplane and Im jumping in a towncar:Yo, put on the radio. Lemme see what [Funkmaster] Flex and Wendy [Williams] talking bout. Thats the only place thats like that. I must give it up, New York is the mecca for me when it comes to that music.
AHHA: Are you a record collector? Do you crate dig?
Jalen: Im a big time record collector. The great thing about my record collection is that technology rules now. As much as Im old school, I still kinda warm up to the scratching on the CDs and the big computer monitor where you can type in and get the songs. Im warming up to that, but it aint nothin like that wax.
AHHA: What would you say is your favorite record that youve found or discovered?
Jalen: They got big breakbeat type records, it depends on the crowd. We can go anywhere from Debarge to Rappers Delight, from Run DMC to Jadakiss. The music dont stop. The great thing I love about actually being from Detroit is we had Motown, which is a soul feeling in music – but I grew up in the Hip-Hop generation. Just as much as I know about Young Jeezy, I know about Jill Scott. Just as much as I know about Cassidy, I know about Alicia Keys and can appreciate it.
AHHA: Have there been any up and coming artists that youve heard about that maybe nobody else knows about yet?
Jalen: Right now I cant say one, and being a DJ and being a big time music fan and having so many friends in the music industry, artist development is one thing I never actively pursued. When Im with Beanie Sigel and Im hanging out it aint because Im trying to get in and put my artist on. I dont wanna have an artist and I dont wanna rap, I love it too much to rap. Ive been around dopeness, how Im a rap? I done sat up and kicked it with Biggie before. How the hell Im a rap? Even if I was dope I aint dope when I done been around it. I done been to East Islip to the boondocks and sat up with Erick [Sermon] and Parrish Smith for days, and Redman when they was trying to bring him out, and Keith Murray when he was young – K-Solo, Das EFX, Naughty. The great thing about playing sports for me is that I got a chance to run with all the people I love in Hip-Hop.
AHHA: Do you have any video cameos coming up that people should know about?
Jalen: All of those cameos happened out of love. When Im in Ludas video thats because Im in ATL and Shaka Zulus calling. I was about to be in Sheeks Kiss That Ass Goodbye video, but I left town before it happened. Im going to be in the new Mashonda video, me and Treach. I had to show the versatility. I aint just a cutthroat hardcore killer. I get down with the chicks too.
AHHA: Considering you have a degree in communications, do you intend to break into broadcasting or an analyst job after your NBA days?
Jalen: Im lucky and Im blessed that Im already into it, Im already doing appearances on James Browns radio show, and Im getting my own show – and they pay me actually to do that. Ill be on ESPNs Cold Pizza and they pay me to do that, I [was] on The Best Damn Sports Show. Im not a guest anymore, Im a host. Ive actually covered events like boxing, Ive covered the NBA Finals for Fox the last three years. I done been on with Bill Walton, Snapper Jones, Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith. Thats where I say I got lucky, because a lot of times when you go to college as kid when you dream or you pursue something, thats not necessarily what you get a chance to actively do. The things that I actually went after are things that I can apply and I still do.
AHHA: What can people expect to see from you in the next three or four months?
Jalen: The next three or four months the seasons about to start. Really its gonna be about basketball first and foremost. Unfortunately, right now Im not on a team thats picked to win a championship by no stretch of the imagination, so basically I gotta grind and be a pro about it. Im gonna do the best I can and lead the guys that I play with, because Im the captain of the team. Im blessed to embrace the situation that Im in. Am I jealous of San Antonio? Yeah, I want a championship, but I know Im about to be playin about five or six more years, so Ima lean back. Then when I get the championship or whatever Im trying to accomplish, then Im gonna go sit up in somebodys executive chair like Isiah [Thomas] is doing, like Larry Bird is doing. Ima try and put me a team together while Im listening to Lloyd Banks or whatever.