There is a slight chance that all of the members of Michigan’s notorious ”Fab Five” team will be in attendance to watch the Wolverines take on Louisville for a national championship on Monday night, but chances are Chris Webber will be absent. Jalen Rose is trying to change that.
During an interview with Bill Simmons for the “B.S. Report” on Sunday, Rose talked about the strained relationship between Webber and Michigan. He believes there are two things that have caused Webber to abandon his former team — the infamous timeout Webber called when the Wolverines were trailing by two in the 1993 national championship and didn’t have any, and the booster scandal that resulted in Michigan’s banners being taken down and wins being vacated.
“The elephant in the room has been Chris Webber,” Rose explained. “While he loves us like brothers, and vice versa, there has been a communication separation that has basically taken place since we all were teammates. I think the timeout had a lot to do with it.”
“I think he wants to disassociate himself with that moment and with that school — in theory — with us, to kind of rebuild his life mentally to say, ‘My career really started my rookie year in the NBA.’ But that’s not really how it works. It’s sad. It’s unfortunate.”
Webber is banned from making contact with the program until later this year. In 2002, he was charged with lying to a grand jury about his involvement with a gambling scandal that centered around Michigan booster Ed Martin. Rose mentioned how he believes that incident has soured Webber’s relationship with the school, but he also said he is hoping Webber will swallow his pride and join his former teammates at the game.
“It would mean so much to the university, so much to the current players — especially since he lives in Atlanta and the network that he actually works for (in Atlanta) has a show Tuesday night,” Rose said. “So therefore Monday night, the world knows he’s going to be in Atlanta. So it’s almost like a flagrant omission if he decides not to come.”
It would make for a great storyline if Webber was in attendance along with Rose, Juwan Howard, Jimmy King and Ray Jackson. But it would be a surprise. Webber has alienated the program for years and chose not to participate in the filming of the “Fab Five” documentary. Monday would be a great time to begin reconciling — especially if the Wolverines end up cutting down the nets.