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Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

Chris Webber Does NOT Want To Talk About Jalen Rose

Illustration for article titled Chris Webber Does NOT Want To Talk About Jalen Rose

Fab Five teammates Chris Webber and Jalen Rose have a famously frosty relationship. When ESPN produced a Jalen Rose-spearheaded 30 for 30 documentary about the 1991-92 and 1992-93 Michigan Wolverines, Webber was the only member of the five not to participate, and he and Rose later had a war of words over the doc. The two clearly do not see eye to eye on a number of issues.

A few days ago it was announced that Webber would teach a masters class in Wake Forest’s documentary film program next fall, focused on “sports, race and society.” He went on Doug Gottlieb’s radio show today ostensibly to promote that gig, and generally talked about his life, college basketball, and the NCAA. Near the end of the interview Gottlieb asked him about Rose, and that’s when things went off the rails.

Gottlieb: Where are you with Jalen?

(very long pause)

Webber: What did you just ask me?

Gottlieb: I said where are you with Jalen, in terms of your relationship?

Webber: Wherever it was.

Gottlieb: (stammering while trying to reiterate the question)

Webber: I mean, Doug, we ain’t talking about that. You ain’t getting that interview. I’m talking about Wake Forest. I don’t talk about him. I talked about him one time on The Dan Patrick show. That was it.

Gottlieb: (tries to explain why he’s asking the question)

Webber: Come on Doug. I just told you respectfully on your show I’m not going to talk about it. I’m talking about being a professor at Wake Forest teaching a class on culture in sports. Now do want want to beat me up because I did not answer you on your show?

Gottlieb: No, Chris, I want to make sure to give you context for why I asked.

Webber: I don’t want to answer the question. So what would you ask me after that? Because I’m going to put this in for my class, as far as how did you handle the media. I’m going to show them right now. I do not want to answer that question. I respectfully ask you not to ask me that again so you can blow your numbers up for your show. I don’t want to talk about that, Doug.

Gottlieb: And what I was trying to tell you was ...

Webber: I understand, but you’re trying to still talk about this subject.

Gottlieb: No no no, I’m not. I’m actually not, Chris. I’m actually not. I didn’t know coming in, I didn’t ask to have you on the show with that as the sole purpose, to try and get that out of you, but I wouldn’t be doing my ...

Webber: Okay, so as soon as I said no, we can leave that alone.

Gottlieb: But I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t ask you, and give you the ability, if you had the desire to do so, to speak on it.

Webber: Thank you for the ability, and I again say I don’t want to talk about it.

Gottlieb: And I’m alright with that. And I’m alright with that. I just want you to know is part of doing this job is you have to ask.

Webber: I don’t know what it’s like to do your job Doug, so thank you for explaining that to me.

Gottlieb: Hey listen, thanks for joining us, I didn’t want to turn it into any sort of back and forth, I just tried to ask a question that you didn’t’ want to answer. But I do respect what you’re doing and I thank you for coming on.

Webber: I hope the students sign up because the class is going to be way more fun than this interview. It’s going to be crazy. Thank you.


Yeeeeeeesh. You can listen to audio of the awkward and intense interview (starting at the 14:00 mark) here.


Photo via Getty

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