Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Chris Webbers ongoing beef with Jalen Rose has kept Michigans legendary Fab Five from reuniting

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- 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.

The Description of Chris Webbers ongoing beef with Jalen Rose has kept Michigans legendary Fab Five from reuniting