By Adam Biggers/@AdamBiggers81
At this point in time, who’s wrong and who’s right doesn’t really matter—it’s all about respecting a group’s legacy, and that group is Michigan’s Fab Five, a band of freshmen that captured college basketball in the early-90s with black Nikes, black socks and long shorts.
They were outlaws. They were bad.
But they were really good.
The Fab Five’s contributions to the game, which have left a lasting impact, should be respected and celebrated. Despite not having a national title victory, that class was something special.
That's what should be remembered, how a group of kids took the NCAA by storm and propelled the game into a new direction.
Jalen Rose, Juwan Howard, Jimmy King, Ray Jackson and Chris Webber were icons. Their collegiate careers were legendary, and Webber, of all people, should respect that legacy.
But evidently, he doesn’t. During an interview with Dan Patrick, he took a proverbial dump on Rose, Jackson, King and Howard, who were all featured in an ESPN 30-for-30 documentary on the Fab Five—minus Webber, of course. During that interview, Webber poked holes in the film’s authenticity and threw a few jabs at his former teammates.
Perhaps the most outspoken of the bunch, Rose, who’s made a career of analyzing the game, let it all hang out during a recent interview, per Larry Brown Sports.
Rose starts out by dropping the bomb of all bombs, calling out Webber’s infamous timeout during Michigan’s 1993 national title loss to North Carolina, then he goes on to reference Webber’s legal troubles and connection to former Michigan booster Ed Martin.
“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.”
This has gone well beyond the “ugly” phase. This is a shame and openly mocks a classic era in Michigan Wolverines athletics, and it’s a horrible look for Webber, who comes across as a bitter, bitter man.
It’s usually best to avoid picking sides in spats such as these, but it’s hard to resist calling a spade a spade: Chris Webber should be ashamed of himself.
And really, Rose and King aren’t doing the Fab Five any favors by returning fire. Webber’s done enough to be viewed as the villain of this tale—rebuttals from Rose and King only acknowledge Webber’s misguided comments.
Rose isn't sparkly clean, either. A zipped-lip approach may be best for him. He’s done well in his career. He's moved past some mistakes, too, and he certainly doesn’t need another swirl of negativity hovering above him.. And again, he'd actually come out looking better if he let Webber's dart fall on deaf ears. Sometimes no reply is the strongest reply.
Only they know the real story, but the very public airing of the Fab Five’s dirty laundry does nothing but tarnish an incredible run by the once-in-a-lifetime collection of attitude and skill.
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