Jalen Rose sat down for an interview with Dave Jacoby of Grantland.com and admitted that he made a shocking decision during a 2000 playoffs game.
Rose said he was having visible trouble keeping up with Kobe Bryant and felt tremendous pressure to step it up. What happened next was a spur-of-the moment decision that is now landing him in some controversy.
“Kobe Bean Bryant goes up for a jump shot out on the right wing,” Rose said. “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.”
When Jacoby prodded Rose further about the incident, telling him not to lie, Rose admitted he might have put his foot under Bryant on purpose.
“I can’t say it was an accident,” he said.
Of course, it’s been several years since that fateful game, and the Lakers ended up beating the Pacers in that series anyway, but is there a statute of limitations on an admission of intentional foul play? Surely now that Bryant knows the injury was inflicted on purpose he’ll be upset, no matter what the outcome of the game was. And some are wondering what this will mean for Rose’s career, as he is a pretty successful NBA analyst.
There’s been no response yet from Bryant or Lakers management, but it’s hard to imagine that someone won’t come forward with a statement about Rose’s comments.