From Jalen Rose admitting a few years ago that he intentionally tried to injure Kobe Bryant in the 2000 NBA Finals, to his constant blocking of Lakers fans who made jokes on Twitter about the time Bryant scored 81 points on him in 2006, the former NBA player and current ESPN commentator wasn’t exactly a beloved figure in Los Angeles.
That may be starting to shift over the last few days, because Rose has started to show an increased willingness to poke fun at himself. It appears the plot of the first episode of Rose’s new ESPN sitcom, Jalen vs. Everybody, centers on the Lakers fictional (for now...) plans to put a statue in front of Staples Center of Bryant hitting a jumper over Rose in his aforementioned 81-point game.
The first clip released showed Bryant roasting Rose over the statue in a restaurant, and the latest snippet reveals Jalen’s reaction to the unveiling. It was as hilarious as you would hope:
Kobe's statue looks great, right @jalenrose?— ESPN (@espn) June 6, 2017
"Jalen vs. Everybody" is live now on ESPN/here: https://t.co/b3cuuiuscn pic.twitter.com/vqGdz0AWes
I don’t know if the entire plot of every episode of Rose’s show is going to focus on “81 jokes,” but if it does he can expect to be the highest-rated show in Los Angeles for a while. Kudos to Jalen for being a good sport, and let’s just hope Kobe keeps randomly showing up to rib him in every episode.
(Update: ESPN simply aired the pilot, as Rose’s show was not picked up as a full series... yet. Make it happen Kobe!)
Harrison Faigen is co-host of the Locked on Lakers podcast (subscribe here), and you can follow him on Twitter at @hmfaigen.