Chris Webber’s NCAA-mandated, 10-year dissociation with the University of Michigan ended last year, but the “Fab Five” star has yet to make amends with the maize and blue. And according to ex-teammate Jalen Rose, Webber is doing a massive disservice to all those involved during their infamous but storied time in Ann Arbor by refusing to bury the hatchet.
Rose told HoopsHype that Webber needs to apologize for his role in the Ed Martin scandal.
Q: When was the last time you spoke with Chris Webber?
JR: I heard through mutual friends that he’s upset that I said that I feel like he should have come out and apologize for some transgressions that happened at the University of Michigan. But I still stand behind that. Also I’m disappointed how the relationship with [Michigan booster] Ed Martin ended. Ed, unfortunately, in my opinion basically died of a broken heart. So while we’re still brothers and I hope that we’re going to make amends… One of the great things of being teammates and friends is we should be able to speak openly and honestly. And hopefully he finds a way to realize and apologize about what happened in Michigan. It ain’t just about you. It’s about the players, it’s about the coach. Steve Fisher coached in three finals and won a championship in Michigan. You go in that campus, his name is nowhere. So it’s bigger than just him. And the fans deserve it, the history of the University of Michigan deserves it. And all he had to do is say two words. It’s not brain surgery. They are ‘I’m sorry.’
The brotherly bond between he and Webber to which Rose alludes is obviously fractured. The most recent indications of that discord are Webber reportedly dissing Rose at the 2013 NBA Finals and the former Sacramento Kings superstar’s displeasure with Rose’s public invitation to join him while watching their alma mater at the Final Four just months earlier.
Rose has a point here. While Webber was the Fab Five’s best player and made its most successful transition to the NBA, he was also partial cause of the sanctions that stripped Michigan of its proud place in the college basketball hierarchy. It was Webber, remember, that made matters worse for the university by lying about his illicit financial relationship with Martin to a grand jury in 2002.
Michigan basketball is indeed bigger than Webber, and if his apology would somewhat repair the reputations of so many Fab Five personalities, there’s certainly reasonable justification to expect him to do so.
But Webber is also his own man, and fully entitled to leaving that checkered past behind him. He went on to great things as a player in the NBA and is currently considered by many league devotees to be its best color commentator. Rehashing the unfortunate events of his time at Michigan might just remind people of his involvement in them altogether.
Either way, incessantly mentioning his displeasure with Webber’s handling of the situation isn’t a good look for Rose, and surely not a positive step in the deteriorating nature of their friendship.
Do you agree with Rose?
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