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"My dogg got shot!" — How a failure in communication almost ended Jalen Rose's friend's life

Jalen Rose detailed the bloody and absurd tale of getting shot at in 2002.
Jalen Rose

Jalen Rose

NBA fans are familiar with the dark off-court stories involving current and former NBA players. Perhaps because of their celebrity status, they are often the target of nefarious acts. Jalen Rose, arguably one of the most popular analysts today, was involved in a shooting that almost ended his life.

Surreal

In the wee hours of September 4, 2002, when Rose was playing for the Chicago Bulls, he and a friend were in Los Angeles, driving home after a night out at a club. When they reached the intersection of Sunset and Barrington in Bel Air, Rose saw a red Cadillac pull up beside him. Then, someone from the passenger seat disembarked, walked towards them, and held up a 9-millimeter handgun.

"It was completely surreal," Rose wrote in his book, Got to Give the People What They Want: True Stories and Flagrant Opinions from Center Court.

"I couldn’t hear what he said, because our window wasn’t open, but it didn’t matter," Rose continued."At that point, instinct just took over. For some reason, I felt like he dropped his guard a little bit when he opened his mouth to talk. At that moment, I floored the gas and took off. I heard gunshots behind us. I ducked and kept driving, and maybe five seconds later—it felt like five minutes—I saw the I-405 come into view ahead. My escape route. I came to my senses, realized I wasn’t shot, and I’m about to thank the Good Lord when—

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Rose saw blood all over his friend Rizz's face. He was shot in the neck.

"My dogg got shot!"

Rose continued speeding through the streets of Los Angeles. His one hand was on Rizz’s leg, trying to comfort him. The other one was on his phone while trying to dial 911. When the operator answered, Rose said.

"Yeah, my dogg got shot, I want to take him to a hospital, I’m driving, could you please direct me?"

The operator did what was asked of her and asked no further questions. Rose sensed that she knew the gravity of the situation. The operator directed Rose to a hospital right off Santa Monica Boulevard — a veterinary hospital. It immediately hit Rose that the operator wasn’t familiar with hood slang. Fortunately, there was a hospital—for humans—nearby. Rose took Rizz to the emergency room.

Rizz survived, but the bullet could not be removed from his neck due to complications. The guys who shot at them were never caught. Rose also never figured out their intentions. He guessed that maybe because he was driving a Bentley and he was an NBA player, he had become an ideal target for a robbery. 

Fortunately, everything ended well, but it could've gone very differently due to slang. What a bizarre moment. 

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