Jalen Rose passionately argues Hall of Fame case for Chris Webber, Fab 5
Chris Webber may not have won a NCAA or NBA title, but Jalen Rose believes his former Michigan (and AAU) teammate belongs in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame—and not just for his distinguished professional career.
“Webb shouldn’t spend a second worrying about that — it’s going to happen,” Rose said to The Athletic’s Jason Jones regarding Webber’s Hall chances. “And also, it’s well deserved. And it’s the basketball Hall of Fame, so he’ll get in. He should get in solely on his impact with the Fab Five because the Fab Five should be in. If you just took his high school and his pro (career), he should be in.”
Webber made five All Star teams over 15 NBA seasons, and his 20.7 points per game is tied for the highest of eligible candidates for the hoops Hall.
As the “Fab Five”, the freshman class of Webber, Rose, Juwan Howard (now the Wolverines’ head coach), Jimmy King, and Ray Jackson ushered in new era of college basketball—defined by hip-hop, black socks, and underclassmen. The iconic team reached consecutive national championship games in 1991 and 1992, but Webber’s stellar Ann Arbor career come to an ignominious end when the he called a non-existent timeout with 20 seconds left in the 1992 title game.
NCAA sanctions later vacated the Fab Five’s records and forced Webber’s temporary disassociation from the program, but Rose doesn’t believe that diminishes the team nor Webber’s impact on the sport and culture.
“The NCAA doesn’t own (the) Fab Five…The same way the NBA doesn’t own (Detroit’s) Bad Boys, so if that was like ‘March Madness’ or ‘One Shining Moment,’ something that they owned, that’s something they would acknowledge and give love to. When you see highlights of teams going in and out of the commercials, they show teams that didn’t win the championship, so they could show us if they really wanted to…It’ll happen, and it’s just like him going to the Hall of Fame; I believe it will happen.”
However, Rose said “The best acknowledgment they could ever do for the Fab Five” isn’t Hall of Fame inclusion; it was naming Howard head coach of the program.
“To me, that was, as far as I’m concerned, putting our jersey in the rafter in Ann Arbor, putting us in the Hall of Fame,” said Howard.