After a grueling eight-year wait, Chris Webber is finally headed to the Basketball Hall of Fame. And as if this momentous occasion wasn’t enough, the person who helped celebrate the announcement was none other than fellow Fab Five alum Jalen Rose.
The two shared a touching moment Sunday on ESPN when Rose interviewed the five-time NBA All-Star about his career, took the time to share some stories, and reconciled with his former Michigan teammate on live television.
“I love you my brother. Congratulations,” Rose said. “You made it to the Hall of Fame. Well deserved.”
“Jalen Anthony Rose, it’s crazy, man,” Webber replied. “And thank God for your beautiful, wonderful mother, cause you know what she did for me.”
For years, their relationship was estranged, with Webber refusing to participate in the making of ESPN’s The Fab Five back in 2011 while making it a point to question the sincerity of Rose publicly.
“My thing is it’s always been about us five,” he told Dan Patrick in 2015. “So when one guy has a million highlights of himself, as if he was the leading scorer and all the stories are like embellished, it’s just a little hard for me. [...] I made an agreement when I joined the Fab Five not to be above the group. I have stayed consistently as a member, no one’s above the other. It’s just disheartening when you pay attention to those rules for 20-plus years, and somebody wants to be Hollywood and make it about them.”
During their cold war, Rose always maintained that the two had never had a disagreement or argument, and after fellow Fab Fiver Juwan Howard became coach of their alma matter in 2019, both sides openly expressed interest in squashing their beef for the greater good.
“It squashes any drama or any beef because we’re not going to bring that to Ann Arbor’s campus with Juwan Howard as our head coach,” Rose said on ESPN’s Get Up after Howard’s hiring. “The one thing that we both know is his success turning around the University of Michigan is first and foremost about him and about the players that he’s going to influence. Then it’s about us being there to support him, not being drama, not being splintered, not giving any indication of dysfunction.”
On Sunday, at least publicly, that dream finally became a reality.
The relationship between the two, who played together as early as 13 years old, went left after Webber pleaded guilty to criminal contempt back in 2003. In court, the 14-year NBA vet fessed up to giving $38,200 to booster Ed Martin in 1994 as a repayment of a loan he received while still playing in college. Once the NCAA got wind of this, they banned Webber from being associated with Michigan basketball for 10 years and Michigan was forced to forfeit wins from five seasons.
Understandably, Rose and the rest of the Fab Five, which includes Juwan Howard, Jimmy King, and Ray Jackson, weren’t exactly pleased. But all of that tension is water under the bridge, and people took to Twitter to express their joy at seeing that their long-standing beef with Webber is finally a thing of the past.
I love a good happy ending.
Webber headlines a 2021 Basketball Hall of Fame class that includes former Miami Heat forward Chris Bosh, Boston Celtics great Paul Pierce, former Detroit Piston center Ben Wallace, and others who’ve left an indelible mark on the sport.