Four years ago ESPN released The Fab Five, a 30 for 30 documentary about the 1991 Michigan basketball recruiting class of Chris Webber, Jalen Rose, Juwan Howard, Jimmy King, and Ray Jackson. The group reached the NCAA championship game in both their freshman and sophomore seasons but never won it all, memorably losing the 1993 NCAA championship game when Webber attempted to call a timeout when the Wolverines had none left.
The documentary was spearheaded by Jalen Rose, and he along with Howard, King, and Jackson all received executive producer credits. Notably, Chris Webber did not participate in the doc. Webber claims that he was only contacted a week before filming wrapped up, while Rose and the others say he was on the same initial emails they were.
Yesterday Webber went on Dan Patrick’s radio show—as an aside, people should stop going on Dan Patrick’s radio show because it always seems to stir shit up [Editor’s note: Please continue going on Dan Patrick’s radio show because it always seems to stir shit up.]—and was asked about the 30 for 30 and his relationship with the Fab Five. He had some extremely unflattering things to say about one unnamed member of the group, but is clearly referring to Jalen Rose.
Here’s a transcript of some of those remarks, (emphasis mine):
The feeling of us, Ray Jackson, Jimmy, Juwan, Jay, is that it ended in love, so you know, when you have a clown … I made an agreement when I joined the Fab Five, not to be above the group. There was a chance to be above the group. There was a chance to follow all that, and I have said consistently as a member, “no one is above the other.“ It is just disheartening when you pay attention to those rules for 20+ years, and somebody wants to be Hollywood and make it about them.
I’ve sat here and, you know, and heard people in the doc[umentary] say I called the timeout on purpose, “how could you do that?” Now, 20 years ago when I went to the league, we didn’t mention it. It was a young 20-year-old crying in the back of the van saying “I’m coming back, we’re going to win the championship for everyone.” That’s what that was, so to hear people now, just to be famous … no one ever loved the Fab Five. So why would you use us to tell stories to get that fake love now? Our whole heart was in not being loved.
You know if you compared the sports it was being the Bill Laimbeer. I admired jim that he went on Chicago’s floor and put his hands up and said “boo me.” Cause he knew the truth of who he was. He knew he worked hard, he knew maybe he won’t win tonight, but [thought] “why am I gonna dim my light, or why am I gonna beg you for your love if when I have to do that if it’s not going to be sincere anyways?”
So I was disheartened by … whatever someone is trying to create our legacy, because that’s not the legacy. Don’t try to go back and act like you were smart and a martyr and all this. Don’t do that. Just tell the story and let people have fun and be like us. So it was a good feeling when I left. I did something so stupid, that after I left Golden State, because of a contract dispute not because of Coach Nelson, but when I left there where did I go? I went to the worst team in the league to be with Juwan, because he was my friend and I knew that we would practice and work hard every day. So those guys are going to be a big part of my life, and I wasn’t too happy with not giving the full context of the story but trying to show how tough, how hard, all that.
Damn, those are some pretty strong words. There was no way that Jalen Rose wouldn’t respond, right? Right. Here’s what he said about Webber to Larry Brown Sports:
“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,” Rose said of Webber in messages to Larry Brown Sports.
“Congrats on your amazing success! Respect had no price. Man up.”
Damn. There is responding to negative comments, and there is going absolutely scorched earth on a former friend, and Rose definitely went for the latter. I don’t think there is going to be a 25-year reunion of their recruitment next year.
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