Ball Don't Lie

Jalen Rose stole Patrick Ewing’s TV/VCR, seems to love admitting crimes after the fact (VIDEO)

Dan Devine
Ball Don't Lie

It's starting to seem like Jalen Rose intends to use his podcast on ESPN.com's Grantland Network as a forum for copping to past misdeeds and hoping everyone will just sort of think they're funny and cute. Last month, he recounted the story of how he deliberately tried to injure Kobe Bryant during the 2000 NBA Finals, sticking his foot under a jump-shooting Kobe (one of the game's mortal on-court sins) when Bryant's Los Angeles Lakers topped Rose's Indiana Pacers. On Wednesday, a new video appeared on Grantland's YouTube channel featuring Rose talking about another pair of transgressions — one of the on-court variety, and another that was an actual for-real crime.

The story, as animated by James Blagden, the talented dude behind the No Mas short videos on Muhammad Ali's 1974 encounter with James Brown and Dock Ellis' legendary LSD no-hitter, as well as the story of John Wall's journey to the NBA:

Well, then.

For those too young to remember, the on-court incident to which Rose refers occurred on March 30, 1999, when Rose's Pacers paid a visit to Manhattan to take on their hated rivals. From Ira Berkow's report in the New York Times:

Against the Pacers in Madison Square Garden, [Ewing] went for a rebound and knocked Jalen Rose of Indiana to the floor. This is fairly routine in the National Basketball Associaton and it is also fairly routine that Rose might retaliate in some way. So he did. As Ewing trotted over and past him, Rose tripped him. Ewing stumbled; Rose rose, and Ewing got to his feet and went after Rose, as though to throttle him. [...]

As Ewing came closer to Rose, obviously looking for trouble, Rose backpedaled with hands and arms in a kind of rope-a-dope posture, looking for an opening to the bigger Ewing, or an exit. And then the referee, Dick Bavetta, jumped between them and received an accidental whack on the nose from the defensive Rose. [...]

''I wanted to smack him,'' said Ewing after the game, ''but ...''

But the Knicks were 16-14, scratching and clawing for an Eastern Conference playoff spot in the lockout-shortened '98-99 season, and retaliating to the retaliation likely would've earned Patrick a suspension. (Either that, or, as Berkow suggests, Ewing "simply couldn't reach Rose," thanks to Bavetta's positioning.)

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Referee Dick Bavetta 'holds back' Jalen Rose so that he doesn't 'go after' Patrick Ewing. (AP/MSG)

Rose was ejected, finishing the game with two points on 1-for-5 shooting and two assists in 13 minutes. Ewing, on the other hand, racked up a game-high 37 points, 15 rebounds and two blocks in 40 minutes, pushing New York to a win. On that night, Ewing's Knicks got the better of the exchange; two months later, when the two teams matched up in the Eastern Conference finals, they would again, ousting the Pacers in six games (albeit largely without Ewing, who suffered a torn Achilles tendon early in the series) to advance to the NBA Finals.

As Rose relates, though, after a later Pacers win over the Knicks in Indiana, Rose got one up on Patrick.

"Both teams were flying out to away games. I just so happened to go into the airport," Rose said. "I walk in and I see a silver chest, with blue, and a sticker that says 'Patrick Ewing.' So then the Detroit instincts came out."

(NOTE: These instincts seem less regionally specific than inherent-thieving-and-sneaking-based, but we're not from Detroit.)

"I look to the left, I look to the right, [and] I hit the handles," Rose continues. "I open it — it's a TV with a VCR attached. That was something then. We don't use VHS and VCRs anymore, but to have a TV, with the attachment? And it has his name on it? I was like, 'I'm getting this.'"

With the help of a "Detroit homeboy" whom Rose says was "down like four flat tires" for the rip and run, Jalen says he stole Patrick Ewing's TV and kept it in his house for years as a conversation piece and a trophy. Of course he did — like Martha Stewart always says, nothing makes a house a home like a large piece of electronic equipment you stole at the airport. Solid work, Jalen. Looking forward to the next "Story Time" segment, when he shares a hearty laugh at slashing Shawn Bradley's tires or setting Jamal Mashburn's beach house on fire.

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