On this week’s podcast, I share a harrowing story that gives some insight into what makes me tick and why I never stop working, learning and trying to seek out new ventures. It has undoubtedly shaped my fearless approach to life.
On Sept. 3, 2002, I was the victim of an attempted carjacking in Los Angeles. My car was sprayed with nine bullets. And one of those bullets is still lodged in the neck of my childhood friend.
It all started after a night out at the Sunset Room.
I am a good tipper, and I always make sure to take care of the valets so my ride can be right up front when I am ready to leave. But sometimes those valets are in cahoots with stick-up boys, which I believe was the case here. That night, I got into a silver Bentley drop-top, which was a loaner while my other car was being serviced. I headed up Sunset Boulevard with my friend Rory.
At the corner of Barrington, I looked to my right and saw a red Cadillac Escalade. The dome light popped on, and someone got out of the back and pointed a 9 millimeter at us. As I saw the gun move, I instinctively hit the gas and slouched down as low as I could while I sped away. The guy started shooting, and it felt like the gunshots went on forever. I looked over, and Rory was bleeding. One of the bullets went through the headrest and hit him the cheek.
It was a sobering moment, and I had so much panic thinking that if I hadn’t acted the way I did, the news would have been filled with headlines saying I had been killed.
However, I was lucky. And it profoundly changed me.
For so long, I couldn’t go anywhere without a gun, security or both. Eventually, I was able to work through the fear and channel that paranoia in a different way. I realized everyone is on borrowed days, and it propelled me to push through boundaries and made me relentless in pursuit of success in all aspects of my life.
Speaking of fearless, I also interviewed Angela Yee, who is one-third of the “Breakfast Club,” one of the most dangerous morning shows out there. She is also a gutsy female in a male-dominated world. I have been on the “Breakfast Club” a few times, so it was pretty cool to swap roles and pick her brain for a change.
To me, Yee always represented a hip-hop version of Page Six. When she mentioned you on her show, it was usually for something you didn’t want the public to know and meant that you were in the wrong place at the wrong time, or saying the wrong thing on the wrong day. It was never personal with her, but she owned her scoops.
Yee is like an antenna for the industry and all of its juiciest gossip. And she was doing this pre-TMZ, before someone would pop out of the bushes and start asking you questions. But Yee always seemed to be there. When I was playing for the Knicks and living in the city, I had a very healthy, respectful fear of her. Especially when I was out at like 2 or 3 a.m. and depending on what type of establishment I was visiting.
I can’t really remember if she ever blew me up, and we purposely avoided that subject. But I always tried to let those kinds of stories roll off my back. She, Angie Martinez and Wendy Williams were the gossip mavens then, and they still dominate the media.
Now, Yee is also an entrepreneur. She owns a juice shop in Brooklyn, is investing in Detroit real estate and is opening a shop there selling hair extensions. It always makes me happy when people invest in my hometown.
On the pod, I spoke to Yee about her unique career path, which started when she interned for the Wu-Tang clan.
Despite what most people think, she said the group was very protective of her and very “gentlemanly.” The only person who would say wild, inappropriate things was, well you guessed it, the late great and aptly named Ol’ Dirty Bastard.
He would call the office and ask for petty cash for a variety of reasons. She said that one time, he wanted money because he had gotten in a fight, busted his jaw and needed to go to the doctor.
If there is anyone who can dish out the juiciest stories, it’s my girl Yee. And hopefully having her on my show gets me out of being dubbed the dubious, “donkey of the day” on the “Breakfast Club” anytime soon.
Detroit native Jalen Rose is a member of the University of Michigan’s iconoclastic Fab Five, who shook up the college hoops world in the early ’90s. He played 13 seasons in the NBA, before transitioning into a media personality. Rose is currently an analyst for “NBA Countdown” and “Get Up,” and co-host of “Jalen & Jacoby.” He executive produced “The Fab Five” for ESPN’s “30 for 30” series, is the author of the best-selling book, “Got To Give the People What They Want,” a fashion tastemaker, and co-founded the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy, a public charter school in his hometown.