Jalen Rose Discusses Fab Five Documentary


fabfive[1]Jalen Rose was made available via conference call today to discuss the upcoming Fab Five documentary that will debut this Sunday at 9 p.m on ESPN. Rose produced the film which aims to give an unfiltered look at the Fab Five. Here are a few notes and quotes from the call.

  • “The story of the Fab Five has never really been told.” Mentioned Mitch Albom’s book, but said the definitive story, taking everything that is now known into account, has never been told. The film is in a way a sort of “Bible” of the Fab Five.
  • Mentioned a notable omission: No 2011 Chris Webber interview. “He felt like at this time he didn’t want to speak and talk about his portrayal of how things went those couple of seasons … anyone who sees it knows that we really went in-depth about everything: the good, the bad, the ugly and the scandal.”

  • On the recruitment of the Fab Five: Everyone’s recruiting situation was different.” Five All-Americans, four McDonald’s All-Americans. “Juwan Howard, he took the first leap of faith.” Then came Jimmy King and Ray Jackson. Then C-Webb and Jalen both signed after they played their respective State Championship games. Wore number 4 and 5 to signify that they were the fourth and fifth players to sign.
  • Both Jalen and Webber took other recruiting trips. Chris went to Duke and Jalen was very much into Syracuse and following Derrick Coleman and Michigan State also. But Chris and Jalen “felt like we were a package deal since eighth graders.”
  • 1990 Final Four MVP and UNLV Anderson Hunt is an alumnus of Detroit Southwestern, where Jalen played in high school and was a major connection between the swagger and style that the Runnin’ Rebels brought to college basketball and what the Fab Five brought. “I looked up to the Vegas team.”
  • On Duke (and why the Fab Five hated them so much): Duke represented “just the opposite of what we did (hip-hop, trash talk, urban attitude) … it was like good vs. evil.”
  • “When you signed a letter of intent to play football for the University of Miami, to go play basketball at UNLV or the University of Michigan, you were viewed one way. If you signed to play at Indiana, at Duke or play at Notre Dame, you were viewed another way. That’s just a fact that still exists today. They (Duke) recruit a certain kind of player. The majority of their black athletes, and there are exceptions to every rule, are from well-to-do families … as an inner-city player, you knew that that type of school wouldn’t recruit a player like you and that was frustrating.”
  • Said the doc will show a lot of the hate mail the Fab Five received from all over, even Michigan alumni.
  • Said Steve Fisher’s San Diego State team this year is vindication for “the world that only felt he just rolled out basketballs and didn’t discipline us and just let us play and do whatever we wanted to do and run all over him.”
  • Jalen quoting Steve Fisher when Fisher was asked to participate in the doc: “Jalen, if you weren’t a part of this thing, I would not be doing it. No way, no how. I don’t want to say anything bad about the University of Michigan.”
  • “The parents of the kids nowadays were Fab Five fans. They grew up in that era.” Said he’s very happy with this Michigan basketball season, but said Michigan will not be able to take steps toward becoming a national power until it remedies its relationship with the Fab Five because of recruiting.
  • “This documentary gives you an opportunity to celebrate with us, it gives you and opportunity to scratch your head and wonder what we were thinking, it give you the opportunity to chastise and question us on and off the floor, it gives you an opportunity to have joy from us. But it also gives you an opportunity to know us better … for those who didn’t like us, this is going to make it worse.”
  • Said he hopes the film goes a long way toward a reconciliation. Has discussed a reconciliation with both Dave Brandon and Mary Sue Coleman. It’s up to the University when March of 2013 arrives. “Michigan has to do what a lot of other great institutions have done: embrace their past and appreciate the players and the sacrifices they made for the University.”
  • The gesture that would mean the most from the University would be to put the team banners back up.
  • Was in Bo Schembechler’s office once per week while at Michigan.
  • AG2

    Man, I loved Jalen Rose when I was a kid. To me, they were the good guys while Duke and Indiana were the enemy. I couldn’t stand Indiana or Assembly Hall or Calbert Cheney or Bob Knight.

    In 1993, the first four rounds of the tournament just felt like a formality. I never questioned that they’d get to New Orleans.

    For all the talk of sanctions, it wasn’t the sanctions that made the program collapse, it was giving the keys to Brian Ellerbe. I remember reading that his previous job was at a D-2 school and they fired him.

    I can’t wait for the day that Michigan is up there with Ohio State Florida and Texas as two-sport powers again.

    As for the banners, can they even do that? Would the NCAA let them?

  • gpsimms

    i am so excited for this film to come out. i was born in 84 and my first bball memories are the fab five. (sadly, i don’t really remember ’89, or the pistons championships…the older ones, at any rate)

    i will always remember meeting howard with a bunch of other kids, and he tried to remember our names, ate pizza with us, and played a little hoop. it’s one of my favorite childhood memories.

    i am also really happy to hear how candid it will be. if it was all rainbows and flowers, it wouldn’t be the fab five.

    • maxwell’s demon

      Right on. Desmond Howard and the Fab Five were my absolute idols growing up.

  • AG2

    Tressel suspended 2 games for lying to the school about the NCAA investigation into Tyrelle Pryor.

  • Mattski

    Penn up 27 to 19 on Princeton at the start of the second half. Harvard could clinch tonight. Kinda fun to watch (on ESPN3).

    • JimC

      And Butler torching UW-Milwaukee…….goodness

  • Brian W

    I’ m sure I’m not alone when I say that I used to record the Fab Five’s games and watch them before I’d go play in my own games. The Duke games were special, and I have fond memories of the Kentucky/Jamal Mashburn and Oklahoma State/Corliss Williamson games in the tournament. The games with the Big Dog and Purdue were really exciting too.

    The Fab Five documentary willl bring back a lot of good memories. I’m looking forward to hearing from Jalen, Juwan, Jimmy and Ray, but I am also interested in hearing from Eric Riley, James Voskuil, and Rob Pelinka during the documentary. Those guys put thier blood and sweat into the games too, and when the banners came down, the collateral damage was erasing the memories of the innocent guys who weren’t named Chris Webber. That’s why I’d support putting the banners back up if it’s possible. I know others including Sparty would disagree with restoring the banners, though.

    I still hold Fisher accountable for turning a blind eye to the bad stuff, but I will try to not focus on the negative. The on-court performance during the Fab Five years was fun to watch. I’m looking forward to seeing the documentary.

    I don’t agree with Jalen’s notion that Michigan will be a national power by simply restoring the memory of the Fab Five. Winning rivalry games, beating top 10 teams, and making tournament runs will take care of that.

    • Old Style

      I believe Williamson played for Arkansas.

      • Brian W

        Yeah, you’re correct. It was Arkansas. Completely different team and different year when Michigan played them… Now I’m trying to remember who was the second scorer was on Oklahoma State with ‘Big Country’ that Michigan had to deal with. I got rid of the vhs tapes several years ago, so I can’t go back and look unfortunately.

        • The Oracle

          Byron Houston was OSU’s best player.

        • Joel

          Randy Rutherford?

  • Mattski

    What’s actually ON those banners, does anyone recall? Because if they quote winning records or championships they can’t go back, right? Their wins were vacated.

    • Dylan Burkhardt

      Final Fours.

    • Brian W

      Yeah, the vacated part is a problem. The NCAA also has signage bans that it enforces for violations. I don’t envision the banners returning anytime soon or if at all, but I can understand to why Jalen or other players from that time period wanting them to be hung back up. It’s the same thing that players at Memphis and USC feel about their vacated seasons… I didn’t remember OSU vacating its 1999 Final Four appearance, but when I was trying to find a picture of the banners I came across that. OSU ended up donating the banner to charity and painting a mural in their practice facility to remember the accomplishments of players from that time period.

    • Andy

      The banners said “1992(3) NCAA FINALIST”

    • jmblue

      They actually could raise back the 1992 banner, because only the Final Four games from that season were vacated (the NCAA determined that Ed Martin officially became a booster that Final Four weekend).

      • Mattski

        Interesting. You could see some negotiating taking place: put back the 92 banner, create a display or something elsewhere in the new facility. Etcetera.

        In fact, whether they have a nice display in the new facility might be a key. At Kansas, for example, it’s a regular museum.

        I just think Webber has to swallow his pride once, break down and shed a few salties on camera about how miserable he feels about what happened, point out that he was a kid (hell, he WAS a kid), say how much he loves Michigan. . . Some of it could have to do with not wanting to shame his parents.

  • Ryan

    Very excited to see this!

    Go Oakland!

  • JB…

    So Villanova is a lock even with this loss? It’s nice to see Oakland doing well again, I like Coach Kampe.

    • MichBall2010

      Probably, but I don’t think they should be. Finished 0-5 down the stretch with a few bad losses (managed to avoid a terrible loss in their 6th last game by beating DePaul in OT or they actually could be in trouble) and no really notable wins outside of Big East Play.

      • Dylan Burkhardt

        They have six top 50 wins and an RPI in the 30’s. They are in. Lock.

        • Alex

          May hurt Tennessee though. They have been hanging their hat on the Nova and Pitt victories and suddenly Nova isn’t as good.

  • georgeesq.

    The Fab 5 were a great story and an exciting time to be a Michigan basketball fan. But I sometimes think that Jalen, Jimmy and Ray are just too wrapped up in their “legacy”. It’s all about them, not Michigan. Had Webber not tarnished it, the legacy would be intact. Apparently Webber would not be interviewed for the documentary, so I suppose Jalen will try to explain away Chris’s conduct.

    It will be fascinating to watch, nonetheless.

  • JimC

    One minor concern: will the public, recruits, etc. realize that this was 20 years ago, and is, in effect, ancient history. Will people realize that the current program has nothing to do with the past except for the colors and the gym.
    Maybe I’m paranoid about this, but we went through some really awful years, not too long ago, and I don’t want the “new image” connected with the scandal.

  • Giddings

    Noopy Crater… there’s a name from the past.

  • Ben

    Man I forgot what a beast Webber was…… Espn is showing previews of the Fab Five Doc and Webber is just a man among boys.

    • JD

      Blake Griffin is the closest thing right now to what Webber was.

  • EchoWhiskey

    Shameless plug here, but I’ll definitely be watching this while rocking the shirt I created awhile back: http://www.zazzle.com/fab_five_t_shirt-235658740172422423

    • Hoops4Days

      You didn’t create that t-shirt. A company called Undercrown (undrcrwn) had a whole line of those t-shirts called the “dynasty shirts”. They were available in urban clothing stores. They’ve done several runs of those shirts starting back in 2006-7. The had the fab five, sin city (UNLV), 80s celts, 80s, lakers, Bad Boys, 90s bulls, kobe, etc.

  • Dylan Burkhardt

    Max Bielfeldt’s season ended tonight as Peoria Notre Dame was upset by Peoria Central. His recruitment could move quickly now I’d suspect — although everyone will be heading to Indianapolis soon if he wants to visit.

    • grandchamp

      Any stats for the game by Max?

      • grandchamp

        Notre Dame’s Max Bielfeldt battled his way to 16 points, eight below his average. Bielfeldt had his shot blocked four times and was short on a 10-footer that would have tied the game at the 20-second mark.

        Notre Dame, which often plays four guards around Bielfeldt and relies heavily on three-pointers, did not make a three until 3:30 remained and finished with two.

      • Brian W

        Here’s a link to the story about the game…


    • Ryan

      I am sure he will be watching closely on Friday. Maybe that will determine his final decision ;)

  • steve

    butler wins over milwaukee… this is good as it opens up another at-large spot… also oakland won the summit league tourney for the auto bid… hopefully that helps michigan as well… i want to beat illinois to feel safe on sunday but these results so far during championship week have only strengthened our position in the tournament

  • jmblue

    Really interesting that he visited Bo’s office regularly. I never knew that.

  • sven

    My brother was at Bielfeldt’s game tonight. He said he hopes Max’s Michigan visit goes well.

  • Kenny

    what is interesting between the Fab 5 story and the comments on recruiting of Bielfeldt is how much Michigan’s recruiting base has dramatically shifted in last 15 years.

    • georgeesq.

      Also how much the PSL has declined. They don’t produce nearly the amount level of talent anymore that they did 20 years ago. Detroit Southwestern alone produced more high D1 players in those days than the entire PSL today.

      • Do you have any thoughts as to why that is? Have there been lots of coaching changes at the HS level? Good programs disrupted? Are players simply moving out of the city?

        • Dylan Burkhardt

          Well one major reason is simply that the population is decreasing, schools are being closed, etc. It’s a city in economic decline and that, sadly, plays a huge role.

    • JD

      IIRC, the year before Fisher landed the Fab 5, he was only able to get Sam Mitchell (not the NBA player/coach) and Rich McIver after missing out on Eric Montross. Both those players didn’t do much at Michigan and wound up transferring (Mitchell to Cleveland State & McIver to Texas).

      For what it’s worth, Fisher really only had 3 very good recruiting classes and all had a player tied to Ed Martin (Webber/Taylor/Traylor & Bullock)

      That said, I didn’t think that Martin was a guy that gave money to players until after they were at Michigan.

      I wish things had worked out differently but that’s also one of the reasons this season has been so great. It’s been so long since we’ve been on the College Hoop map that it’s nice to be back where we belong.

      • Kenny

        Bullock did the real damage to the defense of Fisher. I don’t think that Fisher is a dirty guy in his nature, but under pressure he turned a blind eye to certain things. And I am happy for his success at SDST.

  • Giddings

    Oakland up to #52 with the win last night, can we please get another opponent to sneak into the Top 50? (OU, PSU, Clemson)

  • KAB

    Jerry Palm now has us as a 10 seed…

  • Bluebufoon

    Although I’m an information and news junkie and I will watch the Fab-Five documentary, I am concerned U-M is going to be portrayed very poorly. Plus if Jalen or anyone else thinks those banners are going back up, their nuts. That doesn’t mean Michigan basketball can’t honor, nor embace these young men as we go forward but those banners are tainted by the scandal and must and will stay down– thats how U-M does things.

  • Dylan Burkhardt

    Got the DVD in the mail today. Will post some thoughts on it later tonight. I am a bit worried but interested to see what it contains.

    • “As one who has intimately followed the twists and turns of the saga, I expected to be let down [by the film]. But “The Fab Five” is riveting, brutal in its honesty, realistic in its language and stunning in its archival footage.”

      – Mark Snyder, Detroit Free Press

      I was skeptical, especially when I heard Jalen was a producer. But this quote makes me feel better. Can’t wait to watch it.

    • Brian W

      I’m trying to stay positive about it since Jalen produced it. I’m curious to see what you think of it. The Freep had a nice review of it earlier this week. I’m hoping it doesn’t turn out to be gasoline. Over a decade of bad vibes from the Ed Martin mess was long enough.