YouTubeMichigan is playing its first national championship game in 20 years tonight, but according to ESPN commentator and Fab Five member Jalen Rose, Chris Webber does not plan to be in attendance.
Rose says that Webber has tried to distance himself from the school and, to a lesser extent, his ex-Fab Five teammates in the 20 years since he entered the NBA.
Part of it has to do with the NCAA scandal that resulted in Webber being banned from Michigan games for 10 years. But the biggest reason Webber won’t be there tonight, Rose says, is that he’s still haunted by the 1993 national championship game.
In that game, Michigan lost after Webber famously called a timeout when they didn’t have any timeouts left.
Rose told Bill Simmons on a podcast that the snafu scarred him:
“I think the timeout had a lot to do with it. He wants to disassociate himself from that moment and with that school, in theory with us, to rebuild his life mentally and say, ‘My career really started my rookie year in the NBA.'”
Rose and Webber were best friends when they went to Michigan, but they’ve grow apart in recent years, he told Simmons.
The Fab Five made the championship game in 1992 and 1993, but lost both times. Those tournament runs were later vacated as part of an improper benefits scandal.
Still, that was one of the most important teams in college basketball history, and it’s a shame that they won’t be celebrated tonight.
Here’s video of the timeout:
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