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Jalen Rose: Don't Call The Olympic Gymnasts The "Fab Five"

By: Jamie Samuelsen

Jalen Rose wants it to be very clear: He loves the US Olympic Team. He rooted for them. And he's a true admirer of Gabby Douglas and her class, composure and athleticism.

He's just not a fan of the team nickname. And he also knows that it was not the five gymnasts who chose it. Rose blames the 'lazy media' for not coming up with an original nickname for the gold medalists.

Now, everyone remembers Rose's part in the original "Fab Five," the five freshmen who started in the University of Michigan's basketball program in 1991 and became widely considered the greatest class ever recruited. Along with Rose,  Chris Webber, Juwan Howard, Jimmy King and Ray Jackson dominated college basketball in the 1990s, scoring  points together, starring in the highest rated NCAA Men's Basketball Championship game ever played and getting featured in the documentary "The Fab Five," the highest rated documentary ESPN has ever produced.

Rose is now covering the Olympics for the ESPN as a commentator and running a charter school he created in Detroit.

And he's wondering why the media is retreading the nickname made famous by himself and his college cohorts instead of giving them their own.

"To use the nickname just points and screams of lazy journalism by the national media, that's really what it is," Rose said. "It's no fault at all of the young gymnasts. But I really wish they would have come up with an even more creative tag for them and their gold medal pursuit."

No one's really sure where the original Fab Five nickname originated, but the players who broke ground with their numbers and their baggy shorts street style on the court, embraced it.

"Once the media decides what they're going to call you, that's your name," Rose said. "I've heard they (gymnasts) wanted to be called 'Furious Five' or something different which leads me to believe that's a tag the media put on them."

McKayla Maroney seems to agree. According to Reuters news she told reporters: "There have been Fab Fives in the past but I like Fierce Five because we are definitely the fiercest team out there."

I talked to Rose on Friday as he visited Detroit. He talked about the Fab Five (HIS Fab Five). And he also discussed the successful first year of the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy in Detroit. There are spots open in the fall class and spots open in a charity golf tournament in September. For more information, head to

Here's a podcast of the conversation where he also discussed the Pistons, Andre Drummond and his new role as an analyst on ESPN's College Gameday.

Jalen Rose

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