Jalen Rose on his admiration for journalist Van Lathan
Waking up the morning after Election Day was completely anti-climactic since a candidate hasn’t formally been declared the victor. It’s identical to watching a championship sport. When the ref blows the whistle, whoever wins will have fun whereas the opposite aspect will in all probability get a technical foul for his or her response once they don’t get the W. However that’s politics lately. This race has uncovered simply how divided we really are as a nation.
Somebody I’m not divided on, is journalist, podcaster and my visitor this week on “Renaissance Man,” Van Lathan. Since he appeared on TMZ, I had a lot respect for him. He was one in every of only a few black individuals in that newsroom, and I considered him as a conduit for black tradition, somebody relaying a distinct perspective in a sea of people that didn’t appear like him.
He jogs my memory very a lot of Charlamagne tha God on “The Breakfast Membership,” who works for a company however nonetheless fearlessly expresses himself with out compromising his integrity. I’m exhibiting my age, however once I would see Lathan work the TMZ newsroom, I considered Hoppy and Smitty, the cops on “Sanford and Son.” Hoppy, the white cop, would give all the jargon and official language and Smitty, the black cop, would translate all of it for Fred and Lamont. That’s how I at all times noticed Lathan, because the Smitty of TMZ.
And he advised me that wasn’t at all times a straightforward line to toe.
However he was catapulted into a distinct stratosphere in 2018, when Kanye visited TMZ, they usually had an explosive alternate that was as controversial as the location itself.
Usually when you have got a high-profile visitor like Kanye within the studio, you merely roll out the pink carpet, rub his toes, give him his favourite fresh-pressed ginger, apple and turmeric juice and thank him for blessing you together with his presence. However Lathan didn’t let Kanye’s star wattage blind him after Ye went on one in every of his rants saying “slavery was a alternative.” As an alternative, he instinctively charged Kanye like he was Michael Strahan sacking Tom Brady within the 2007 Tremendous Bowl.
“I wasn’t even fascinated with Kanye anymore. I used to be fascinated with myself,” Lathan advised me concerning the alternate. “I can’t sit in a room with somebody that highly effective and any individual that has kind of voice after which not say something to that. Yo, you need to love Trump, that’s cool, that’s on you . . . However the those that bought whipped with chains, dawg and jumped off of boats whereas they have been coming over from Africa, the individuals who sacrifice and survived and did all that . . . If we don’t maintain them sacred and holy, then who will we maintain sacred and holy? However I’m speaking about my grandmom and them who bought canine and hoses. That legacy, now we have to respect them . . . No matter you have got achieved is cool. You’re a genius, you’re a legend, you’re my brother. I’m personally drawing the road.”
They bought right into a shouting match, and it was like Kanye versus Taylor Swift yet again, the place Ye turned his fan base in opposition to them. You don’t should be a dyed-in-the-wool Swifty to see that comparability.
When that ended, I’m positive Van felt like he took an L, and he in all probability went to mattress that evening with numerous emails and texts making an attempt to determine how he’d climate that storm.
Lathan was let go from TMZ after a scuffle with a co-worker and ultimately landed at sports activities website, the Ringer. Invoice Simmons, who heads it up, is private pal of mine, and we’re at all times chatting about writers, creators and good individuals within the enterprise, so I used to be joyful to study Lathan was on his radar.
Now he’s doing two podcasts: one on the present, “The Wire” with my sister from one other, Jemele Hill. It provides me numerous pleasure to see them collaborate and have nice chemistry. And he’s additionally teamed up with the previous Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay for “Larger Studying” a podcast about present occasions, politics and popular culture.
Rachel is as whip good as they arrive, however once I requested if his mates have been hitting him up for her quantity, he diplomatically dodged the query, as a substitute praising her intelligence.
Lathan is frank, genuine and educated. His integrity gained out, and seems, he’s fairly the gentleman too.
Detroit native Jalen Rose is a member of the College of Michigan’s iconoclastic Fab 5, who shook up the faculty hoops world within the early ’90s. He performed 13 seasons within the NBA, earlier than transitioning right into a media character. Rose is at present an analyst for “NBA Countdown” and “Get Up,” and co-host of “Jalen & Jacoby.” He govt produced “The Fab 5” for ESPN’s “30 for 30” sequence, is the creator of the best-selling ebook, “Acquired To Give the Folks What They Need,” a vogue tastemaker, and co-founded the Jalen Rose Management Academy, a public constitution college in his hometown.
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