Current TNT analyst and former member of Michigan’s Fab Five, Chris Webber, appeared on “The Dan Patrick Show” last week and criticized ESPN’s 30 for 30 documentary “The Fab Five.” Webber stated said he did not participate in the documentary because he wasn’t contacted until a week before it wrapped. This interview has set off a series of statements from members of the Fab Five who are not happy with Webber.
The Fab Five were one of the greatest college basketball stories back in 1991 when Michigan started five true freshman who earned the dubious title. The Fab Five members consisted of center Juwan Howard, power forward Chris Webber, small forward Jimmy King, shooting guard Ray Jackson, and point guard Jalen Rose and are considered to be one of the greatest recruiting classes ever. The Fab Five played in two national championships losing to Duke in 1992 and North Carolina in 1993 before Webber left for the NBA draft and was drafted number one overall by the Orlando Magic who immediately traded him to the Golden St. Warriors for Penny Hardaway and three future number one draft picks. All but Jackson went on to play in the NBA.
So why are members of the Fab Five angry with Webber? For one, Webber wants to put his Michigan days behind him. While at Michigan, Webber accepted money from a Michigan booster named Ed Martin although he vehemently denied it for years. Webber never apologized to his coaches, teammates, or Martin who Rose believes died of a broken heart after all he had done for Webber. Also, Webber watched Michigan’s 2014 NCAA title loss from a suite rather than from the Michigan cheering section with the other four members of the Fab Five. These issues have not sat well with the other members of the Fab Five.
In response to Webber’s comments on Dan Patrick’s show, Rose was not amused. He appeared on Larry Brown Sports and had this to say about Webber after King called Webber a “habitual liar.”.
“One dude traveled then called timeout. One dude lied to grand jury and hasn’t apologized. One dude tried to circumvent the documentary to HBO. One dude ignored multiple requests from everyone involved after agreeing to participate. One dude played like (President) Obama and sat in a suite during Michigan’s recent title game. One dude slandered Ed Martin after all he did for him and his family. One dude is not in contact with the other four (which is all good). One dude has been doing a rebuttal doc for four years. One dude clearly is delusional and still in denial. Congrats on your amazing success! Respect had no price. Man up.”
Webber has refused to respond to the comments from Rose and King and wants to focus on the Eastern Conference playoffs he is working starting tonight. He did say the issue will be addressed in a book he has been writing for years.
“I’ll address all that in my book, and you’ll hear all of that at one time. I’ll let you know at that time. But right now, we’re just talking basketball and the playoffs. But I understand the interest in it and I will address it. Everything will be addressed, but to respond to what they’re responding, right now is just not the time.”
When listening to the Rich Eisen Show last week, a gentleman called in to describe the reason that Webber and Rose have a beef with one another. This caller played hoops in Michigan against both Webber and Rose and said a big part of the problem is the animosity Rose feels towards Webber for being named Michigan’s Mr. Basketball in 1991. Webber played for a private high school who played what was believed to be easier competition than Rose who attended a tough high school in the inner city of Detroit that played superior competition and Rose dominated. If Rose is angry over something from 24 years ago, then he is the one who needs to “man up.”
The Fab Five are a great part of college basketball history. I am hoping Rose and Webber can bury the hatchet and move forward.
Follow As I See It at http://Scottdm71.com
Like As I See It on Facebook
Twitter handle: @Scott_AsISeeIt
Internal photo courtesy of www.allsportseverything.com
Cover photo courtesy of www.washingtonpost.com
Credit all authors of images used in both article and as cover image : Scott D. Mikulski