Jalen Rose: ‘I would love to be a minority owner of the Detroit Pistons’

Detroit native Jalen Rose wants to be a minority owner of the Detroit Pistons. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Detroit native Jalen Rose wants to be a minority owner of the Detroit Pistons. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) /

Jalen Rose has given back to his hometown of Detroit and now he wants to double-down on his investments by becoming minority owner of the Detroit Pistons.

There was no beating around the bush, Detroit native Jalen Rose stated his wishes clearly.

“I would love to be a minority owner of the Detroit Pistons,” he told The Athletic’s Richard Deitsch as part of a Q&A.

Rose, who turns 47 on Jan. 30, was born in Detroit and went to Southwestern High School. He grew up in the Motor City while his father, Jimmy Walker, played for the Pistons from 1967-72.

Rose’s connection to the Pistons evidently goes deeper than that. He founded the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy in downtown Detroit in 2011. It is a tuition-free, open-enrollment high school in Detroit.

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"“I love their owner, Tom Gores, who is also a supporter of JRLA and a friend of mine,” Rose said. “He and his wife have been terrific to me. (Pistons exec) Arn Tellem is my former agent in the NBA and I applaud him bringing a team downtown.”"

Not only could Rose’s wealth be a factor, he’s dedicated to the community and is the sharp basketball mind that could assist Gores in making basketball-related decisions. He believes it, too, adding “I feel like there is a wealth of things I can bring to the table.”

Rose never played for the Pistons during his 13-year NBA career. He’s generated a lot of buzz in his post-playing days as an analyst for ESPN, most recently on NBA Countdown. That is what the majority of the interview entailed.

It’s an interesting time for Rose to want to become part-owner of the Pistons. The team is actively shopping Andre Drummond in trade talks. He’s expected to be dealt by the Feb. 6 trade deadline, which would reset the Pistons into a rebuild. Blake Griffin just had his second surgery in eight months and the team only has $51 million in guaranteed money on the books for next season.

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Rose could have his hand in player personnel decisions, or at least be there to advise Ed Stefanski, and Tellem. Given the timing of wanting to buy-in, buying low as the team sputters and trades its best players, it’s an investment to believe in because the return can be much greater and he could directly influence that in key decisions within the organization.

The analysis he provides on a nightly basis on television could, in turn, be valuable in becoming part of the Pistons brass. But he’s made it pretty clear, both in The New Yorker and this interview with The Athletic, how he feels about the analytical age of basketball. He believes people are missing the human experiences that don’t show up on resumes.

"“No. 1, there are many people that feel like it has a cultural overtone to it that basically suggests that, even though I may not have played and you did, I am smarter than you, and I know some things that you don’t know, and the numbers support me, not you,” Rose said in The New Yorker in June. “Two, you notice that, when it is a powerful job in sports—whether it is an owner, whether it is a president, whether it is a general manager, whether it is a coach—usually in football and basketball, sports that are primarily dominated by black Americans, it’s also an opportunity to funnel jobs to people by saying that, ‘I am smarter than you because the numbers back up what I say, and I am more read. I study more. I am able to take these numbers and manipulate my point.'”"

He elaborated on that point even more with The Athletic.

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"“But here is what ends up happening for powerful positions in sports, not just the NBA. Ownership, I understand that it is a business of nepotism in a lot of ways where you can pass a team on for generations like we see with the Knicks or the Lakers,” Rose said as part of a greater answer in The Athletic. “Or then you have baby boomer owners like Mark Cuban or people that have a billion dollars before they bought a team. When you start to filter down under that — and I’m talking about the predominantly black sports in particular like the NFL and the NBA — look at the power players and the decision-makers and unfortunately they are featured by the majority and not clearly represented by the minority based on what I’m watching on the court or in the field. That goes to college basketball and especially college football too. So now all of a sudden the decision-makers, the president, GM, head coach, it gets to a point where my playing experience is diminished, but your experience is elevated. And, oh by the way, I’m an individual who was an honor roll student in high school, made the Dean’s List at Michigan, and graduated from college. So being a member of the Fab Five and an All-American at Southwestern was the headline but the story was I was taking care of business in the classroom.”"

Not only does Rose want to be a part of Pistons ownership, which sounds like his first goal and hope, but he referenced he would like to get into coaching at the college or professional levels.

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Reading the tea leaves, he sounds happy doing what he’s doing for ABC and ESPN. But he knows he can make a greater impact in his hometown by becoming a part of the Pistons ownership, even as minority owner. It sounds as if he’s wanting to do more and bring his immaculate hairline home.