Rose calls SI poison story foolish

STEVE BUFFERY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:44 AM ET

Jalen Rose insisted yesterday that his feelings were not crushed after Sport Illustrated's website named him to an NBA All-Poison team this week.

"Lies don't matter," Rose said. "There's no merit to it. It's kind of hard to entertain foolishness when it has no merit."

SI.com contributor Paul Forrester, who placed Rose on his All-Poison list, justified the selection by suggesting that Rose was an overpaid "hired gun" who plays "statue-like defence." Rose does make major money ($15.7 million US this season), but nowhere on the website did it mention that he is a popular guy in the locker room who has acted professionally during his time in Toronto.

Last season, when Raptors coach Sam Mitchell yanked him out of the starting lineup, Rose neither whined nor complained. Instead, he played so well off the bench that Mitchell had no choice but to start him again. And even though he would like to finish his career with a contender, Rose never has publicly demanded a trade, like a certain prima donna all-star last year in Toronto.

ASK THE COACHES

"What I saw that was said about me (in the article) really had nothing to do with basketball," Rose said. "You can ask any of the coaches I played for (if he was poison). From Bernie Bickerstaff, Gene Littles, Bill Cartwright, Larry Brown, Larry Bird, Rick Carlisle, Kevin O'Neill, Sam Mitchell ... you can ask them what kind of character Jalen Rose is. And ironically, three of the four teams I've been on, I actually was the captain on the team."

Some of his teammates were peeved to hear that Rose had made the infamous All-Poison team.

"That's going too far," Morris Peterson said. "Jalen's a class act. He's a guy I respect. It's just unfortunate that things like this happen.

"We all know that Jalen is one of the best players on this team," he said. "He's one of the best guys in the locker room and you never hear anything negative come out of his mouth."

Forrester also placed Mitchell on the list, essentially for calling on Rafer Alston and for engaging in, as it turns out, a fictional wrestling match with Vince Carter.

"So Coach gets on guys? So what?" Peterson said. "If he didn't care, he wouldn't get on you."


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