Pacers guard Jalen Rose, one of our NBA.commentators for NBA Playoffs 2001, answered questions from fans on one of the off days between Games 2 and 3. The Pacers are tied with the Sixers 1-1 in the Eastern Conference first round.
I'm a big fan of yours. Last year you won the award for the most improved
player during the regular season. Could you tell us how you were able to
improve your game and become the dominating player that you are now?
I'm cheering you guys on to upset Philly.
The most important thing that enabled me to win that award is that
I've never allowed myself to be safisfied. I'm always working to improve my
game every year.
I am a 76ers fan (sorry) but one thing that I notice about the Pacers
is your never-die attitudes. How does a leader like yourself keep his
team and himself motivated when down by as many as you were in the first
half of Game 1?
In life, you can't be scared to have success. And in order to have
success you've got to give your all and be confident when nobody else
believes in you. That's the attitude I've had my entire life.
In Larry Bird and Isiah Thomas, the Pacers have had two coaches with a
lot of playoff experience and success. Does it give your team added
confidence in the playoffs, knowing your coach has been where you want to
It gives you a ton of confidence because he's talking about something
he can relate to. When he puts it into play, he's doing it from not only a
coach's perspective but a player's perspective. He knows what it's like to
go through the ups and downs of a playoff series and not get too high or too
Jalen, I am your biggest fan. I know that the Pacers have had many
different starting lineups this year. Which one do you think suits you and
the team the best? Thanks! You're the greatest!!
Any lineup that's going to win the game that day, as long as I'm in it.
Jalen, I feel that the pick, then post is a great play, because it gets
Iverson or Snow guarding you on the post, where I think you are very
effective. Will you continue to run it against the Sixers and do you
think the Sixers will double you?
I anticipate having all of those guys taking a turn guarding me like
they've been doing. Hopefully I can anticipate being able to have success
against them all.
What effect do you think the new zone rule will have on slashing players
like you and shooters like Reggie?
Lower Merion, Pa.
I don't like the new rules so it's hard for me to determine how long
they're going to last.
How do you see yourself now that you are the veteran going into the
playoffs with all the young guys on the team and how has this whole season
been for you compared to the past years, when you were the young guy?
Terre Haute, Ind.
I realize this season how many guys that are considered big-time
players in this league that never even won one playoff series. In that, it
allows me to appreciate the experiences that I've been through, the
successes that I've had on teams and obviously it's going to make me a
better player as well as us a better team.
Jalen, I was just wondering who you felt the "third scorer" on you team
is? In order for you guys to get back to the Finals do you have to
have a consistent third scorer?
That always helps. I think we'd probably be more effective if we had
another solid big man to play with the same energy we get from Jermaine. If
we can find somebody to be a tag-team partner for Jermaine, to take some
pressure off him, I think that's something we really need.
Do you still keep in touch with Juwan, Jimmy, and Ray?(Fab Five)
All the time. They call me after every game, especially in the
Hey Jalen! If Donnie can pick up a veteran for next year, what position
do you think we need the most help at, and who would you like to see in
a Pacers jersey?
An inside force, somebody that can complement the things Jermaine
brings to the table.
Jalen, do you or your teammates read the papers or check nba.com to see
what was written about the Pacers after a game (whether the performance
was good or bad) and does what was said have any impact? Thank you and good luck!
Vancouver, British Columbia
I'm a big-time basketball fan, so I read what's said about Jalen Rose
as well as what's said about Allen Iverson. I really don't take it
personally because I know they're only reporting their opinion.