Jalen Rose believes Chris Webber has disassociated himself with the Fab Five, and while that may be a heavy-handed description, Webber's behavior is understandable.
While appearing on BS with Bill Simmons, Rose discussed Webber and made a plea for his former collegiate teammate to join the rest of the Fab Five at the national championship on Monday night.
The Michigan Wolverines—which is of course the alma mater of Rose, Webber, Juwan Howard, Ray Jackson and Jimmy King, collectively known as the Fab Five—will be taking on the Louisville Cardinals.
Rose claims he will be there along with King and Jackson, and believes Howard will make the trip as well. He isn’t so sure about Webber, though.
Here's the interview with Simmons:
The things Rose identifies in this interview are true. Webber obviously did call perhaps the most infamous timeout in sports history.
He was the focal point of the violations that caused all of the Fab Five's accomplishments to be wiped from the record books, per Ben Glicksman of Sports Illustrated—which is ridiculous—but it is what it is.
Webber has since refused to be part of the awesome ESPN 30 for 30 documentary Fab Five about the famed recruiting class. Now it seems he may skip out on celebrating Michigan hoops at the Final Four.
The Fab Five are the reason I fell in love with college basketball and Chris Webber was my favorite player at that time. While I'd love to see him in the Georgia Dome rocking a yellow No. 4 jersey, I totally understand his approach.
It wouldn't be preposterous to think that Webber associates many of the worst ordeals in his career with the university. While some of those bad memories may be of his own doing, it is a good bet that there is some bitterness towards the institution as well.
While he may still have an allegiance to the other members of the Fab Five—which Rose eludes to in the interview—coming out to an event like this would be showing support for the university and opening up old wounds.
Webber has not completely turned his back on the school—at least not its players. He recently tweeted this in support of the school's current group of stars.
Sometimes as old friends grow older, circumstances change our priorities. It's clear Rose and the other members of the Fab Five still bleed maize and blue. For obvious reasons, Webber's blood color has probably changed over the years.
While most in the business will appreciate Rose's candor in the video above, as a friend I probably wouldn't take kindly to being put on the spot publicly.
I can't help but think that expecting Webber to let bygones be bygones isn't respecting his feelings in a difficult situation.
That tweet was a show of support and likely a big step for Webber. At this point, that may be all anyone can hope for from him.
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