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“Absolutely No J”: When Alex Rodriguez Took a Swipe at Derek Jeter’s Bold Claim Long Before Their Friendship Turned Sour

Published 03/06/2023, 10:50 AM EST

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Almost every professional out there has tried their hands at another sport than the one they’re known for, haven’t they? Derek Jeter, the legendary captain of the New York Yankees and a baseball Hall of Famer, was no exception. The captain was in his high school basketball team and had played against players who would change the landscape of the hard court when they made it big. Few of them went on to become a part of the “Fab Five”.

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But before delving deeper into that, let’s talk about Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter’s friendship. The whole timeline of their relationship is a long and winding road, but they were once the epitome of bromance, always up for some good-natured ribbing. Taking this into account, Jeter once unveiled his basketball genius when he played against future Fab Five players, and A-Rod couldn’t resist a little friendly teasing. 

Alex Rodriguez calling Derek Jeter’s “jump-shots” – “ridiculous hops”


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Derek Jeter, renowned for his exceptional career as a shortstop for the New York Yankees, had an interesting journey before he became the heart of the baseball world. The former captain may have been a baseball legend, but his basketball roots were still firmly planted in his memories.

In his high school days, he dabbled in basketball and played for the Kalamazoo Blues team. During the A.A.U. basketball days, Jeter even had the chance to face off against future Michigan Fab Five members – Jalen Rose and Chris Webber.


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The former captain once fondly recalled his days on the hard court, claiming to be a “decent guard” with a good jump shot. However, his then pal, A-Rod, had a different opinion on Jeter’s skills. Rodriguez quipped upon hearing this and said, “ridiculous hops, absolutely no J,” but it was all in good fun. Calling a “jump shot” – “ridiculous hops” is something only the best bud would say and despite their current strained relationship, this reminder of the exchange sure was heartwarming. 

Derek Jeter’s opponents, who go on to become a part of the ‘Fab Five’ 

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The Fab Five. Juwan Howard. Chris Webber. Jalen Rose. Jimmy King. Ray Jackson. These five were once legends. They joined Michigan Wolverines as University freshmen in 1991. And they represent the greatest class ever recruited. Although they did redefine the very notion of behavior expected of athletes back then, especially on the hard court, their signature baggy uniforms, black socks, and love for hip-hop music were unlike anything seen before. And their style influenced future generations of athletes. In fact, the once-unconventional behavior they displayed is now commonplace among athletes. 


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The players, even before they were recruited, each in their own right were unstoppable. And according to, Jalen Rose said that they hardly paid any attention to who was playing against them. Even when facing off against the guard from Kalamazoo, Derek Jeter, they barely batted an eye. The captain himself in fact mentioned that he felt “totally over-matched” on the court even while being confident in his point guard duties while going against Rose and Webber. But despite the lopsided outcomes of their games, the Yankee captains’ encounter with the players was certainly something!

WATCH THIS STORY: From Alex ‘A-Rod’ Rodriguez To Derek Jeter: Here Are The Top-5 Richest MLB Players Of All Time 



Garima Verma

379 articles

Garima is an MLB writer at EssentiallySports. She has recently graduated as a Master's student in Media and Communications. She is an avid reader and an ardent cinema fan.

Edited By: Abhishek Kumar