- The University of Michigan hired former player Juwan Howard as their new men’s basketball head coach.
- Jalen Rose, a former Michigan basketball player and teammate of Howard on the famous “Fab Five” teams, said Howard’s hiring felt like “the first day out of prison.”
- The Fab Five team, particularly Rose and Chris Webber, have had a complicated relationship with each other and the school over the last 25 years, with Rose and Webber growing apart over several issues.
- Rose said on Thursday that there has been a “thawing” in the relationship and the team will come together again to support Howard.
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Jalen Rose on Thursday grew emotional on ESPN’s “Get Up!” while discussing what Juwan Howard’s hiring at the University of Michigan will do for the members of the “Fab Five.”
Michigan and Howard officially came to an agreement on Thursday to make him the head coach of the men’s basketball team.
Howard and Rose were both members of Michigan’s famous “Fab Five” basketball teams from 1991-1993 which also included Chris Webber, Jimmy King, and Ray Jackson.
The team revolutionised several aspects of college basketball and remain one of the most popular teams in college basketball history.
However, the group has had a complicated relationship with the school and Webber has a complicated relationship with his former teammates. First, in the 1992 NCAA Tournament, Webber famously called a late timeout in the championship game when Michigan was out of timeouts. The blunder resulted in a technical foul that helped cost Michigan the game.
Later, Webber was found guilty of accepting payments while in school. Michigan was forced to scrub his name from their basketball records, forfeit their wins in the tournament, and take down their banners. Webber also was forced to disassociate from Michigan for 10 years as punishment.
In the years since Rose has suggested that Webber should publicly apologise for his actions. Rose also said Webber avoided the team. Webber didn’t take part in an ESPN documentary about the team, drawing scrutiny from the other members.
On Thursday, however, Rose said Howard’s hiring will squash any beef with the members of the team and help to reunite them.
“Today, to be honest with you, it feels like the first day out of prison,” Rose said. “It really does. Because you didn’t realise the weight and the shackles of the negative connotations of what people took from what we brought to the table at the University of Michigan, how heavily that weighed on all of us until it actually gets lifted.”
Rose said that in the previous 25 years, the relationship between the Fab Five members and Michigan seemed as if the two sides only “tolerated” each other. He said it hurt to return to Michigan and not see his jersey retired or their banners in the rafters.
“It wasn’t a full-throttle embracement,” Rose said.
Rose said there had been some recent “thawing” in the relationship between the Fab Five. Rose said that in the last six months, the members have had a group text which Webber largely ignored. He said recently, Webber has started to respond, though he put in vague terms, saying, “the last few months, five people have been responding in the group text.”
With the hiring of Howard, Rose said he expects the former members of the basketball team to put on a unified front and return to the school to support Howard.
“To have Juwan Howard in this position and for us as the Fab Five to do what we can to support him, it means everything to us,” Rose said.
Watch his comments below:
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