Denver Nuggets A to Z: Jalen Rose

Leader of the Fab Five made strong first impression on draft night

by Demetrius Jacobs

With the 13th pick of the 1994 NBA Draft, the Denver Nuggets select … the greatest draft-night suit of all-time – and with it, the stylish Jalen Rose.

As part of a month-long tribute to the most memorable and notable players in franchise history, we are taking a look at the Nuggets from A to Z.

R is for Rose.

A three-year starter and leader of Michigan’s legendary “Fab Five”, Rose created a buzz with his red, pinstriped suit on draft night. He joined the Nuggets after helping lead the Wolverines to back-to-back NCAA Championship games in 1992 and 1993 and the Regional Finals in 1994.

A 6-foot-8 point guard, Rose was named to the 1993-94 NBA All-Rookie Second Team after averaging 8.2 points and 4.8 assists in his first year in Denver. He averaged 10.0 points and 6.2 assists in 1994-95 before being traded to the Indiana Pacers on June 13, 1996.

Rose went on to a productive 13-year NBA career with Indiana, Chicago, Toronto, New York and Phoenix.

Not known for his defense until later in his career, the versatile lefty took advantage of his lanky frame and established himself as a gifted scorer and playmaker. As his career began to peak in 1999-2000, Rose helped the Pacers reach the Eastern Conference finals in three consecutive seasons, including a trip to the NBA Finals in 2000. He averaged 20.8 points during the postseason run and poured in 32 points in Game 5 of the Finals.

Once his playing career ended in 2007, Rose went into broadcasting, working for TNT, ESPN and ABC. It was a natural transition for the loquacious Rose, who also owns a production company, Three Tier Entertainment. The company helped produce the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary The Fab Five, which set a record for all ESPN documentaries when it premiered in 2011.

Rose is also well known for his philanthropic work. He created the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy, which allows high school students to take college courses as upperclassmen. He also helps build reading centers for inner city youth and has contributed to former Nuggets center Dikembe Mutombo’s fund to build a hospital in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

While his time with the Nuggets was brief, Rose was certainly a fan favorite. In a time when the point-forward was a sought-after commodity, Denver was able to draft their very own – along with that fantastic suit.

Game to remember, March 10, 1995

Playing in his hometown for the first time with the Nuggets, Rose scored 20 points and finished two rebounds shy of a triple-double as Denver beat the Detroit Pistons 99-88 at the Palace of Auburn Hills. Rose, who attended Southwestern High School in Detroit, added 10 assists and eight rebounds.

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