The moment Chris Webber enters the Basketball Hall of Fame will be the culmination of an incredible 15-season NBA career. The five-time All-Star scored more than 17,000 points and grabbed more than 8,000 rebounds across stints with five teams, and he stood out among the power forwards of his era because of his rare combination of athleticism, size and skill.
But for a generation of fans who were locked into the college hoops scene in the early 1990s, their most vivid memories of Webber came when he starred at Michigan as a member of the team’s “Fab Five,” which also included Jalen Rose, Jimmy King, Ray Jackson and Juwan Howard. That group reached the national title game in 1992 and 1993, but it failed to win the championship in either trip. But the legacy of the “Fab Five” has endured and continued to spark conversation — though not always about what that squad did on the floor.
In 2002, Webber was indicted on charges of obstruction of justice and lying to a grand jury regarding his connection to former Michigan booster Ed Martin. Webber eventually pleaded guilty to a charge of criminal contempt in 2003, admitting that he had given Martin more than $38,000 to repay a loan he had received as a college player. Michigan essentially erased any trace of Webber or the “Fab Five” from its record books, and Webber was banned from associating with Michigan basketball for 10 years.
That ruling created a rift not only between Webber and the Wolverines, but also between him and Rose. The old expression is “time heals all wounds,” but does it apply to Webber’s situation?
Michigan AD reaches out to Webber
In an interview with ESPN’s Myron Medcalf, Webber revealed that Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel had apologized for the way the school treated him following the Martin scandal. Manuel was hired as the Wolverines’ AD in 2016, so he played no role in the initial investigation. Still, he told Webber that he “did his research” and an felt apology was necessary.
“His exact words [were], he needs ‘to apologize to the 18-year-old Chris Webber because we didn’t protect him,'” Webber said.
Webber added that he will detail his experience at Michigan in his upcoming book, “By God’s Grace,” which he hopes will help all parties involved move forward.
“I was the lowest-hanging fruit. I had the biggest name,” Webber said. “I knew that then, so hopefully some of the things in [my upcoming book] will reveal what happened, how things happened and hopefully just life can go [on] or it can just get back to normal in that way. Hopefully, once we address all this good stuff, we’ll get back to it.”
Webber, Rose still have work to do
Things have been rocky between Webber and Rose for years, and the former Michigan stars have talked a lot about their problems with each other. The disconnect basically boils down to this: Rose has always wanted Webber to apologize for his role in the erasure of the “Fab Five,” and Webber has been frustrated with Rose speaking publicly about what he feels is a private issue.
The relationship appeared to be back on track earlier this year when Rose congratulated Webber for reaching the Hall of Fame on ESPN’s “NBA Countdown” show, but Webber still wants to turn the cameras off and have a candid talk with Rose.
“There has been that rift because Jalen has decided to talk and I’ve said we should handle everything behind the scenes,” Webber said. “It was just, it’s an honor system. It’s a code. And he knows what that is because that’s what we built the ‘Fab Five’ on and he did not adhere to that code multiple times. His family told him multiple times and that is what happened.
“And I still love him. That’s my boy. … All it takes is a 30-second conversation.”
Saturday’s Hall of Fame ceremony could provide the perfect opportunity for Webber and Rose to put this beef behind them and finally give fans the “Fab Five” reunion they’ve always wanted.
Original source here
#Hall #Fame #induction #opportunity #Chris #Webber #heal #relationship #Fab #Jalen #Rose