LOADING ...

Chris Webber’s ongoing beef with Jalen Rose has kept Michigan’s legendary “Fab Five” from reuniting

2M+ views   |   18K+ likes   |   735 dislikes   |  
16:10   |   Apr 06, 2019

Thumbs

Chris Webber’s ongoing beef with Jalen Rose has kept Michigan’s legendary “Fab Five” from reuniting
Chris Webber’s ongoing beef with Jalen Rose has kept Michigan’s legendary “Fab Five” from reuniting thumb Chris Webber’s ongoing beef with Jalen Rose has kept Michigan’s legendary “Fab Five” from reuniting thumb Chris Webber’s ongoing beef with Jalen Rose has kept Michigan’s legendary “Fab Five” from reuniting thumb

Transcription

  • - The first time Jalen Rose met Chris Webber they were 12.
  • Jalen told Chris "You've got the sorriest
  • "game I've ever seen."
  • And the way Rose describes it,
  • he and Webber should have been rivals from that moment on.
  • While Jalen was "taking two public buses across town at dawn"
  • to attend Detroit's Southwestern High School,
  • Chris was starring at the much fancier
  • Detroit Country Day private school.
  • Rose was a well regarded prospect but Webber got
  • more hype as well as Michigan's Mr. Basketball title
  • by a wide margin over the second place Rose.
  • Envy could have come between them
  • instead, when Webber signed to join the University
  • of Michigan's legendary 1991 recruiting class
  • Rose followed him because the two
  • had become such close friends.
  • Chris and Jalen stayed tight throughout college,
  • but the end of their wild ride at Michigan
  • and the extremely complicated legacy
  • of the Fab Five recruiting class has driven them apart.
  • The seeds of this beef were planted in the early 90s
  • it took almost 30 years to reach full bloom.
  • (classic piano playing)
  • Beef grows on trees I guess?
  • I don't know who writes this garbage.
  • Anyway Rose and Webber were the two Michigan born members
  • of the Fab Five, a Wolverines line up
  • that revolutionized the style and structure
  • of college basketball, made important statements
  • about amateurism and capitalism
  • and was really good at sports.
  • The feisty point forward and the smooth yet thunderous
  • big man were leading scorers on a squad
  • that made back to back NCAA finals under coach Steve Fisher.
  • Webber became the first pick in the 1993 NBA draft
  • at the time a rare and impressive honor
  • for an underclassman.
  • He'd go on to an excellent Pro career earning
  • his first All-Star selection in Washington
  • where he played alongside fellow Fab Fivesman, Juwan Howard.
  • He then rose to truly elite status in Sacramento
  • before knee injuries slowed him down.
  • Rose like Howard went Pro after junior year
  • and became a 94 first round pick.
  • He had some very good years on some very good
  • Indiana Pacers teams. (violin plays)
  • Webber and Rose both left the league in the late 2000s
  • and both quickly transitioned to television careers
  • that are still going strong.
  • It sounds simple when you paint it with broad strokes
  • it sounds like they should still be friends,
  • but we neglected some stuff.
  • One crucial thing happened and most
  • of what I just told you officially didn't happen
  • and it all has to do with Chris Webber.
  • Thing number one: The timeout
  • Michigan's 1992 NCAA Tournament run was an exciting surprise
  • they were a six seed with five freshman as starters
  • and while losing to Christian Laettner, Grant Hill,
  • and the Duke Blue Devils in the final did hurt.
  • People were mostly thrilled that the Wolverines
  • made it that far.
  • '93 was different. Michigan entered March Madness a favorite
  • and upon reaching the final they fully believed
  • they would take down fellow one seed North Carolina
  • but, down two in the closing seconds Webber committed
  • a now infamous infraction.
  • Well first he traveled but that didn't get called,
  • after that Webber dribbled up court got trapped right
  • in front of his own bench and attempted to call a timeout
  • even though Michigan had run out of them.
  • The resulting technical foul extinguished any hope
  • of Michigan winning it all.
  • Coach Fisher and Webber's teammates were quick
  • to console their star big man
  • and they insisted he wasn't the reason they lost,
  • that they wouldn't have even had a championship
  • to lose if not for Webber's brilliance
  • but Webber clearly took the collapse hard.
  • The scenes of him walking off the court
  • and facing the media afterward are painful to watch
  • and there wasn't much time to resolve this grief.
  • Webber boldly declared for the Draft just weeks later.
  • - I've decided to turn Pro,
  • this decision that I felt was necessary
  • for me to keep going and move on.
  • - He began his career with the Golden State Warriors
  • while the remaining four stars spent another season at Michigan.
  • This time falling in the Elite Eight. So that's thing one.
  • Thing two didn't hit Webber until years later
  • and it may have never hit if not for a car accident
  • that had nothing to do with him.
  • In February, 1996, star recruit Mateen Cleaves
  • visited Michigan and the team's stars took him
  • out on the town.
  • Returning from a party Maurice Taylor lost control
  • and rolled his SUV breaking the arm of teammate
  • Robert Traylor and sparking an investigation
  • as to what the Wolverines had been up to
  • that night with a recruit in tow.
  • An inquiry by the NCAA and the university
  • didn't reveal anything monumental
  • but later reports uncovered that the players had been
  • at the home of well know Michigan booster Ed Martin.
  • Which led to further investigations
  • and eventually Steve Fisher's firing.
  • Then the feds stepped in and discovered
  • that Martin was running an illegal gambling operation
  • and had made payments over the years
  • to several Michigan prospects and athletes.
  • Subpoenas led numerous players, coaches
  • and their family members to testify
  • before a grand jury in 2000.
  • Rose, like some others admitted to accepting small amounts
  • of cash from Martin, but was left basically unscathed
  • by the legal proceedings.
  • Not the case for Webber, despite Chris having been
  • especially close to Martin since his youth,
  • and prior reports of big money changing hands
  • nothing stemmed from his initial testimony
  • but in 2002, Martin finally plead guilty to charges
  • that included loaning hundreds of thousands of dollars
  • to Webber and others.
  • Federal authorities thus indicted Webber
  • for lying to the 2000 grand jury.
  • He initially claimed innocence
  • but eventually admitted to taking money and plead down
  • to criminal contempt avoiding a prison sentence.
  • NCAA and self imposed sanctions pushed
  • Michigan basketball to scrub its past.
  • The Wolverines officially vacated a ton of wins
  • from the Fab Five era, pulled down their final four banners,
  • and removed Webber's name from individual record books.
  • And there were future sanctions too,
  • a short post-season ban but also a 10 year dissociation
  • from Webber and three other players directly implicated
  • in the Martin scandal, no contact, no business, no nothing.
  • So yeah, the Fab Five legacy is complicated
  • and it's primarily because of Webber.
  • We should acknowledge that Webber's payment scandal
  • probably wouldn't exist outside and unjust system
  • wherein big time college athletes receive none
  • of the money that they earn for their schools but I digress.
  • Anyway, memories of the timeout didn't really dog Webber
  • once his career moved past the immediate aftermath
  • Webber became comfortable talking about it
  • he spoke to SI for a big feature just weeks later
  • and he didn't hear much about the incident
  • once he entered the NBA.
  • Partly because he became a star so fast,
  • partly because he found new drama in the Pros.
  • With time Webber and his family could laugh about
  • that humiliating final moment as a college player.
  • The Ed Martin scandal was a different story,
  • before confessing in his eventual plea agreement.
  • Webber was adamant about fighting the charges
  • and equally adamant in his disparagement of Ed Martin.
  • Rose and Webber had grown apart as friends
  • in different cities often do after college,
  • but Chris lying and then lying about lying was according
  • to Jalen the final blow to their relationship.
  • But they were still in the league.
  • Rose didn't broadcast his feelings
  • and Webber certainly wasn't gonna talk
  • about that stuff even years later
  • while signing with the hometown Pistons.
  • There are photos of the two of them together
  • during Webber forced dissociation from the school,
  • and they even appeared in some of the same t.v. segments
  • discussing the Fab Five's legacy.
  • While Rose insisted that no sanction could undo
  • the success of those teams he was clearly
  • bothered by the manufactured distance
  • and the fallen banners.
  • When the final four came to Detroit in 2009
  • Rose and Jimmy King pushed for a Fab Five reunion,
  • but Michigan wouldn't let them do it on campus
  • and Webber decided not show up.
  • And then there was the 30 for 30.
  • Rose produced ESPN's 2011 documentary on the Fab Five
  • which is excellent and worth watching.
  • There were rumors that Webber initially agreed
  • to participate but ultimately he was the only important
  • member of that team not to.
  • Instead the movie depended on the other four stars,
  • and Steve Fisher, and upper classmen like Rob Pelinka,
  • all talking about Chris and his mistakes.
  • Toward the end, a school administrator implores
  • Chris to apologize.
  • - Chris simply needs to acknowledge
  • that he made a mistake, apologize for those mistakes
  • and I believe that it would have an enormous
  • impact on our ability to heal this situation
  • and move forward in a very positive way.
  • - It feels kinda unfair but I mean that's what happens
  • when arguably the central subject of a documentary
  • refuses to be in it.
  • While Webber maintained his distance,
  • Rose kept the flood gates open.
  • In 2013, the Wolverines went back
  • to the national championship.
  • Rose, Howard, Jackson, and King planned to attend
  • the final against Louisville, and on a Grantland podcast
  • Rose begged Webber to show up too.
  • Chris was the elephant in the room making any
  • potential reunion weird.
  • Webber did show up separately while Rose, Howard, King
  • and Jackson cheered together in the crowd,
  • the elephant in the room was upstairs in a private suite.
  • Later that year Webber's 10 year dissociation
  • with Michigan finally ended.
  • But the banners remained in storage
  • and it was still Rose doing all the talking.
  • He didn't quite say Webber should apologize
  • but he did say how he would apologize
  • if it were him in Chris's shoes.
  • And on another podcast episode he and Bill Simmons
  • recounted Webber giving Rose the cold shoulder
  • at the NBA Finals.
  • In 2014 Rose kept addressing Webber publicly
  • as a sort of spokesman for the other Fab Five members.
  • Since the whole line up hadn't truly been together
  • since that fateful night in 1993.
  • And he went further in stating firmly
  • that Webber should do right by his teammates Steve Fisher
  • and the now deceased Martin and apologize.
  • In 2015, Dan Patrick finally got Webber to respond a lot,
  • he talked about the time out
  • and how it was addressed in the 30 for 30.
  • - I've always embraced the timeout
  • I know that the Fab Five documentary makes it seem
  • like, oh my God I'm so scared to talk about it.
  • - [Narrator] And he discussed that documentary as a whole.
  • - Did you like the Fab Five documentary?
  • - I love the guys and I just think it's just so much missed.
  • - [Narrator] He insisted he'd been down
  • to participate in the doc but that he'd been kinda ambushed
  • by the interview requests.
  • - They called and says, hey we want you to be in a doc,
  • I said, heck yeah I'll be in the doc.
  • (stutters) Well, what's going on?
  • He go, well we're wrapping up next week
  • we need to get you, I'm like wait a minute.
  • - [Narrator] And he insinuated that Rose had put himself
  • and his fame above the legacy of the whole Fab Five.
  • - A lot of people after they retire
  • or when they're looking for a job
  • or when they wanna be relevant.
  • - They embellish.
  • - It's really no, yeah and you know my whole thing is
  • it's always been about us five you know.
  • - That is a lot.
  • Jimmy King called the bit
  • about the belated interview request a flat-out lie.
  • And Rose came back swinging, I'm just going to read this.
  • One dude traveled then called timeout.
  • One dude lied to a grand jury and hasn't apologized.
  • One dude tried to circumvent the documentary to HBO
  • One dude ignored multiple request from everyone involved
  • after agreeing to participate.
  • One dude played like 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.
  • So that is also a lot when it came back
  • to Chris is October 2015,
  • he was adamant that he didn't wanna
  • talk about Jalen anymore.
  • - [Doug Gottlieb] Where are you with Jalen
  • in terms of your relationship?
  • - [Chris Webber] Wherever it was.
  • - Wherever it was, I mean you know the last time--
  • - I mean Doug we ain't talkin bout that
  • you ain't getting that interview (mumbles).
  • I'm talking about Wake Forest.
  • I don't talk about him. I talked about him
  • one time on the Dan Patrick show and that was it.
  • - But by this time Rose was promoting a book.
  • A book that told stories of Webber snubbing him
  • and the other Wolverines during his NBA days.
  • Not calling people back, flaking on free tickets,
  • flaking on hotel rooms for his friends
  • when he made the All-Star team.
  • And about the documentary, Rose claimed he had
  • initial buy-in from Webber who then flip flopped
  • and decided he didn't wanna talk about his past.
  • Only to go pitch a separate documentary to HBO,
  • Rose even went into greater detail about the time
  • Webber cursed him out at the NBA Finals.
  • And finished a long section on Webber by once again
  • asking him to own his transgressions and apologize.
  • That really seems to be Rose's main issue in recent years.
  • He has blamed the continued burial of the Fab Five legacy
  • on Webber including coach Fishers lack of recognition.
  • Because he's on t.v. Rose gets asked about this stuff a lot
  • and he always puts the ball in Webber's court saying,
  • he's still haunted.
  • - I think that something that emotionally
  • still plagues him in a lot of ways.
  • Come home big fella the Fab Five brothers love you,
  • the University of Michigan loves you.
  • Let it do what it do.
  • - [Narrator] In the meantime he's out here
  • breaking the play down on national television.
  • Dan Patrick got C-Webb going again in 2018.
  • Webber said he talks to some of the other guys.
  • - I talk to Juwan like every freaking other day.
  • Ray and Juwan I talk to often
  • I haven't talked to Jalen in a while.
  • - [Narrator] Said his feelings about the time out
  • have been mis-characterized.
  • - This whole thing of (mocking) he doesn't know
  • he can't come back, he so hurt
  • about the time he's crushed,
  • and mentally he can't be with all five of us.
  • Like I don't, you know.
  • - [Narrator] Tried to explain his seating arrangement
  • at the Michigan Louisville Final.
  • - And everybody was saying,
  • well Chris went up to his suite he couldn't,
  • well on paper I still was banned from the school.
  • - [Narrator] And seconded Patrick's hopes
  • for a Fab Five reunion
  • but blamed Rose's trolling for the tension.
  • - Because I've been trolled, I think like no human
  • in the history of sports has been trolled
  • by someone that consider your friend it's tough.
  • - [Narrator] He also went on Sway in the Morning
  • and said something similar, that Rose had broken a code
  • by making their issues public.
  • - When he broke that code
  • to what I feel further his career that hurt me as a man.
  • - [Narrator] And regarding the trolling accusation
  • Rose insisted he doesn't wanna hash this conflict
  • out in the media then he hashed it out in the media.
  • - I don't need to talk about him to further my career
  • I don't sellout I am not a media shill.
  • I do not sell my soul in order
  • to talk about sports on television.
  • - [Narrator] And this response to Webber getting made
  • an honorary captain by Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh
  • definitely seemed like trolling.
  • - I'm elated by this news, I'm not surprised
  • by this news, and respectfully it's calculated.
  • - [Narrator] And that's more or less where things stand.
  • Webber says he wants to reunite with the Fab Five
  • and get the team's legacy back on track
  • but he's kinda touchy and wants all that done on his terms.
  • Rose thinks all it will take is Webber apologizing
  • for his mistakes but he's definitely not catering
  • to Webber's touchiness about those mistakes.
  • It's frustrating that this legendary fivesome fractured
  • at what was once its tightest hinge.
  • But I have faith that these two will one day
  • put aside their differences.
  • They've both said that they could be friends again someday.
  • What will that take?
  • Maybe its Webber finally releasing a book or documentary
  • that tell his whole side of the story.
  • Maybe its Rose dialing down the heat a bit
  • or the university relenting in its erasure
  • of Fab Five history.
  • Right now as I speak to you, beef is keeping them apart.
  • But maybe someday, maybe by the time you watch this.
  • The Fab Five brotherhood will become whole again.

Download subtitle

Download video & audio

Right click on one of the buttons above and choose "Save Link As..." to download video

Description

Chris Webber and Jalen Rose were recruiting rivals growing up in Detroit, but that didn't stop them from being close friends. They were so close, in fact, that Rose followed Webber to the University of Michigan, joining a legendary 1991 recruiting class that came to be known as "The Fab Five." Those five guys revolutionized college basketball and won a whole lot of games, but lost both their trips to the NCAA Final. The second of those losses came after Webber's infamous timeout call. And all those wins? They've been vacated because of a sprawling scandal that included a booster, a gambling ring, and payouts to a number of Wolverines players, including Webber.

So the "Fab Five" legacy is complicated, in large part because of Webber's mistakes. And that fact has fueled decades of beef between the former best friends. Webber has come across as sensitive and standoffish about his past, while Rose has perhaps been too aggressive in pushing Webber to apologize for his past. This beef between them has showed in TV programs, documentaries, and books, and it's only gotten worse.

This episode of Beef History tells the tale of a friendship turned feud, with the hope that airing things out might help put the "Fab Five" and their legacy back where they ought to be: together, and prominent in Michigan history.

Written and produced by Seth Rosenthal
Shot and edited by Ryan Simmons

Like SB Nation on Facebook: https://goo.gl/Pzcs7O
Follow on Twitter: https://goo.gl/5LI02D
Follow on Instagram: https://goo.gl/aY2FFK
Explore SB Nation: http://www.sbnation.com

Trending videos