There hasn’t been a more impactful university team than Michigan Wolverines’ Fab Five. A lot of what we see in today’s NBA has been influenced by five elite high school talents joining forces in 1991. The group consisted of Jimmy King and Ray Jackson, two recruits from Texas, Chicago’s Juwan Howard and Detroit natives Chris Webber and Jalen Rose.
They played together for three years and were the first team in the NCAA history to compete in the championship game with all five starters being a freshman. Although they never won an NCAA championship, their impact has never been measured through winning. Fab Five’s on-court style, which included baggy shorts, black socks, trash-talking, and a lot of playground swagger, set trends that are still being used in the league today.
Almost three decades after the Fab Five’s days, the relationships in the group haven’t been the best. Jalen Rose considered Chris Webber to be “the elephant in the room” and the main reason for a “communication separation that has taken place since they were teammates.” The beginning of the separation was the infamous time-out Webber called in the 1993 NCAA championship game, when Michigan didn’t have any left, causing them to lose the championship in the final minute.
Rose said that Webber wants to disassociate himself with that moment and with that school, to rebuild his life mentally to say, “My career really started my rookie year in the NBA, but that’s really not how it works.” The beef between the two continued, after Webber publicly criticized Rose’s “The Fab Five” documentary, saying that he made it all about himself.
“A lot of people, after they retire or when they’re looking for a job or when they want to be relevant, they go back in time and kind of make sure their importance is really known. My thing is it’s always been about us five. And so when one guy has a million highlights of himself as if he was the leading scorer when like all the stories are like embellished, it’s just a little hard for me.”Chris Webber, BR
Even though Rose and Webber had their ups and downs, it seems that they are ready to bury the hatchet. Rose, who is a current ESPN analyst told the Boston Globe that he is in touch with Webber and they plan to privately resolve the situation.
“We’re in contact currently and we’re brothers. So I always feel like anything that we need to say needs to be face to face, eyeball to eyeball, without any distractions, without any hype, without any camera. That’s the big-boy way to do that. That’s my brother.”Jalen Rose, BR
Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe noted that the hiring of their former Fab Five teammate Juwan Howard as the head coach of the Michigan Wolverines was the initiator of them trying to settle their beef. It seems like the two will once again be connected through a school which gave a very little acknowledgment to their legacy in Michigan basketball history, which is something Rose hopes will change soon
“None of our jerseys are retired, but one of us is the coach of the team. I did three years at Michigan, they have to do one black banner, put the maize and blue on the outside of it, and put the five numbers up there and still let the people wear the numbers. Make it a Fab Five banner. I hope it doesn’t take something to happen to one of us for it to take place. And the Basketball Hall of Fame, too, we can’t get a plaque in there? Give us our flowers while we’re still here.”Jalen Rose, BR