Jalen Rose and David Jacoby released their latest Grantland podcast, during which Rose still had a baseball bat over his shoulder. Somewhere in the middle of the rambling discussion, Rose admitted he ran cross country all four years of high school.
"You could not play on the basketball team unless you ran cross country," Rose said. "He's going to make sure you're in shape before the season start."
It wasn't just him; Rose says all of the Southwestern high school basketball team, wearing short shorts with long shorts underneath them, trudged through the rain and cold of the Detroit autumns. But instead of learning the loneliness of the long distance runner, by his own admission the basketball team played grabass the whole season.
"I feel guilty all of the times when we got in people way and we were being silly out there and we bumped into people and pushed people down every now and then," he said. "It happened."
Yep, Jalen Rose and his army of tree-tall behemoths would knock down cross country runners for fun or maybe out of boredom.
Even now, Rose still sounded stupefied that there are people out there who run because it is a sport and not just some cruel form of conditioning: "When you out there, you actually running against guys that are really serious about cross country and running track," he said in awe. "Like, this is what they do. This is not a precursor to them playing basketball."
Jacoby, equally as mystified by the concept of running just to run, asked why runners wouldn't just cut the course when they entered the woods.
But as saccharine as it sounds, Rose said he did learn a few things from his time in short shorts. "When you distant running, don't stop," he said. "That's it. Don't stop."