HoopsHype Chris Webber rumors

March 22, 2011 Updates

ESPN for the last two years rolled out a series of documentaries but none of them has gotten the reaction and buzz of your “Fab Five” documentary that aired on March 13. Time Magazine described the reaction as a “media firestorm.” Did you anticipate the reaction that you got from the film? JALEN ROSE: I absolutely did. That’s why the entire time it was noted that the revolution will be televised. That’s why it was very important for the story to be told 20 years later, as opposed to five years, 10 years, or even 15 years because a lot of issues that were noted in the documentary, a lot of the conversation we discussed in the documentary, and a lot of the situations that we exposed — good, bad or indifferent — I knew a lot of people weren’t going to be ready for, and/or were uncomfortable hearing them, especially knowing that a lot of it was true. ChrisWebber.com

Grant Hill was so taken aback by that criticism that he wrote an op-ed piece for The New York Times. What was your reaction to what Grant Hill wrote? JALEN ROSE: It was very eloquently put, the soliloquy he did for The New York Times. And I understand where he’s coming from. I’m pretty sure, whether it’s family members, friends, or the media, a lot of people have instigated this to a point where it’s become irresponsible journalism. I’ve heard people question whether Jalen Rose is a racist, I’ve heard people question whether I still feel that way now. The documentary clearly noted about how we felt about an opponent. [Grant Hill] was someone I was competing against. And what set the tenor of the documentary, (ESPN Analyst) Dick Vitale summed it up best when he said: “Michigan, they don’t represent the clean cut, All American kind of guy.” Well, that’s what Grant Hill represented. ChrisWebber.com

JALEN ROSE: In describing that term, that’s the word I used: Uncle Tom. Do I feel that way in 2011: of course not. He’s a very accomplished player, he comes from a tremendous family, Duke is an established program, Coach K is a tremendous coach, and the upbringing that Grant Hill had: that’s what I’m trying to bring to my kids. So I understand that it’s a school for everyone now. But then, I was fighting against Vitale’s comments; we were fighting against the letters you saw in the documentary that were so hate filled. And that was my way to express it. ChrisWebber.com

Have you had a chance to speak to Grant Hill since the documentary aired? JALEN ROSE: I’m pretty sure, when we see each other in a week, a month, a couple of months — we will see each other soon, talk to each other soon, give each other a pound, hug it out, and move on. Really, the disappointing thing to me is when people try to make it a racial theme. The last time I checked, we’re both Black. It was a socio-economic issue that, at 17, I didn’t understand. Now, I do understand. So I don’t anticipate all of a sudden me and him setting up a heavyweight bout so we can slug it out. At the same time, I think it can now be a learning experience. Because whether people like the delivery or not, what remains is socio-economic issues based on class, based on status, based on stature, and those still exist. It’s unfortunate that a couple of idiotic media members were so simple-minded to take the term Uncle Tom to use that to define the doc, but not responsible enough to pay attention to how I said it. Again what I said about Duke, what I said about Grant Hill – that is how I felt. And I stressed it – I hated Duke. Not “I hate Duke.” Two separate things. ChrisWebber.com

A lot of people who watched the documentary were left wondering where was Chris Webber? JALEN ROSE: Chris has a great opportunity to participate. I felt personally, as well as Juwan, Ray, and Jimmy that the forum could not have gotten any bigger. It’s not like it was me and my boy holding a camera, trying to do a documentary. He was initially 100 percent committed to do it. That’s what allowed me to pitch it to ESPN. As he realized the project was moving forward, he got cold feet and he felt like he did not want to address the issues — good, bad, and ugly — that happened from 1991 to 1993. But since the story is about the Fab Five, the story is not just about him. For him to not give an interview in 2011, that really does not affect the integrity of the story. ChrisWebber.com

March 16, 2011 Updates

Suns forward Grant Hill has written an editorial that will appear in this Sunday's New York Times in response to the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary on Michigan's Fab Five. The Fab Five was a college contemporary of Hill's time at Duke and the documentary, for which Jalen Rose was executive producer, has created controversy with statements Rose made about Duke recruiting, including an "Uncle Tom" reference. He and Michigan teammate Jimmy King made specific statements about Hill. Arizona Republic

March 14, 2011 Updates

Besides the on-court rivalry, Rose said in the film he felt Duke didn't recruit black players like him, only those who were “Uncle Toms.” Patrick pointed out that Duke did recruit Chris Webber. “We would've welcomed him with open arms,” Hurley said. “Jalen, on the other hand, I can understand why we didn't recruit him. He might have a tough time hitting the floor, because he wasn't taking my spot.” Detroit Free Press

Former Michigan star Jalen Rose described Sunday's ESPN documentary “The Fab Five” this way during a national conference call: “This is almost like the Bible of the Fab Five story. We really went in-depth about everything — the good, the bad, the ugly.” Michigan center Eric Riley's memories of his days playing with the Fab Five fall under the "bad" and "ugly" categories more often than the "good." "We felt like it was split. It felt like it was two different teams," Riley said, referring to the Fab Five and the Wolverines players that were there before their arrival. "We had experience, and some of us had been on a team that won a national championship (1989). But we felt like we were just part of their team." Daily Tribune

March 13, 2011 Updates

The "Fab Five" documentary at 9 tonight on ESPN will be considered must-see TV by many basketball fans. For several young NBA players, such as Detroit Pistons players Greg Monroe and Austin Daye, it will be a history lesson about the game they live and love. Monroe was 9 months old and Daye just 2 years old in March 1991, when Chris Webber and Jalen Rose committed to attend the University of Michigan on the same day they won separate high school state titles. Those commitments completed a class of incoming freshman at Michigan that featured five players rated in the top 100 national recruits, including four ranked in the top 10. Booth Newspapers

Monroe, who has met Webber and played against Howard (now with the Miami Heat), said he will tune in to watch the much-anticipated documentary. "Mostly, I remember them in the NBA," Monroe said following a practice last week. "That’s where I saw Jalen Rose, Chris Webber and Juwan Howard. Growing up, you heard about them and how they set a new style and trend in basketball on and off the court." Daye said his DVR will be set to record the show. "I’m definitely going to watch," he said. "Jalen Rose was one of my favorite players growing up." Booth Newspapers

February 4, 2011 Updates
February 1, 2011 Updates
December 31, 2010 Updates

Apparently, the preseason hype that surrounded this team is wearing off. That or the lofty expectations we heard and read about OKC coming into this season are now being replaced with more realistic projections. Either way, two of the all-time greatest players, Charles Barkley and Chris Webber, on Thursday night stubbornly rejected the notion that the Thunder is one of the best four teams in the Western Conference. The matter stretched into a 4 1/2 minute debate during one segment after Kevin Durant responded to one of Barkley’s comments via Twitter. If nothing else, the exchange between Barkley, Webber, Kenny Smith and host Ernie Johnson was entertaining. Here’s a link to the segment. Oklahoman

Smith: Kevin Durant is a great enough player that his play is leadership. Webber: He can’t lead 12 people by himself. Just the fact that Kevin Ollie isn’t there and he’s with Connecticut, like those are things that I watched. Like you said earlier, you need bad guys on the team, or guys that aren’t the nicest. The Vernon Maxwells, other guys. I still think you need the same thing in the locker room. The average age on that team is 23, 24. They made one playoff series and they played the Lakers. Great. That’s great. They played the Lakers and they played them well in one playoff series. That’s all we’re going off of. Barkley: And you know, that jump between being a good team and surprising people to being an elite team, they’re not ready for that. Oklahoman

December 22, 2010 Updates

Chris Webber doesn't believe Roy should return this season. Webber was plagued by knee injuries late in his career and sees some of the same disturbing physical trends in Roy. Webber had to adjust the way he ran after knee surgery and has noticed a change in Roy's gait. Weighing the state of the Blazers and Roy's troublesome left knee, Webber said it's best to just shut Roy down. "I don't think Portland has the slightest of chances to win the championship," said Webber, a former All-Star and current analyst for NBA TV. "I wish he would take the rest of the year off and get healthy. I think it would be a better investment for the Portland team because there are no guarantees. If you're not going to win this year, then what are you guaranteeing? "You're guaranteeing that you're still damaging his hurt areas. That's all you're guaranteeing." NBA.com

November 24, 2010 Updates

And it’s caught the notice of Webber, who made these comments on NBA-TV yesterday (hat tip to Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel) about Miami’s sputtering fan support. “The team has a commercial begging fans to come watch three of the best players in the NBA play,” Webber said. “Miami fans, you stink.” San Antonio Express-News

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