Chris Webber and Jalen Rose were recruiting rivals growing up in Detroit, but that didn’t stop them from being close friends. They were so close, in fact, that Rose followed Webber to the University of Michigan, joining a legendary 1991 recruiting class that came to be known as “The Fab Five.” Those five guys revolutionized college basketball and won a whole lot of games, but lost both their trips to the NCAA Final. The second of those losses came after Webber’s infamous timeout call. And all those wins? They’ve been vacated because of a sprawling scandal that included a booster, a gambling ring, and payouts to a number of Wolverines players, including Webber.
So the “Fab Five” legacy is complicated, in large part because of Webber’s mistakes. And that fact has fueled decades of beef between the former best friends. Webber has come across as sensitive and standoffish about his past, while Rose has perhaps been too aggressive in pushing Webber to apologize for his past. This beef between them has showed in TV programs, documentaries, and books, and it’s only gotten worse.
This episode of Beef History tells the tale of a friendship turned feud, with the hope that airing things out might help put the “Fab Five” and their legacy back where they ought to be: together, and prominent in Michigan history.