30 for 30: The Fab Five

Yup, no baggy shorts by any good teams before Michigan

The directors info in the beginning starts us off.

I remember watching the first two games of the Fab Five in December of 91, . . .Bald Heads Black socks, black shoes, baggy shorts, no major college basketball team had started five freshmen.

Lets count in inaccuracies just in his intro, shall we?

– only 2 of the 5 were bald.
– the black socks didn’t start till later
– the fab five didn’t start as a group until later in the season- and Ray Jackson only started 15 games, and Jimmy King only 21.

Michigan was 14-15 the year previous, 8th place in the Big 10. The best player they had was Demetrius Calip- you remember him, right? Exactly. The only player to play any decent time in the NBA was Eric Riley.

The fact that Fisher wins the national champion with Bill Frieder’s players is mentioned. Why Bill Frieder left is not mentioned. He wanted to go coach at Arizona State, and get fired in a point shaving scandal.

The recruiting of Juwan Howard and his background is highlighted, very good stuff here.

One interesting note- the top players in the country are listed- let me throw these out there.

1 Chris Webber
2 Glenn Robinson
4 Juwan Howard
7 Donyell Marshall
8 Allen Henderson
9 Jalen Rose

Thats pretty impressive, to say the least (number 3 was James Forrest, who went to Ga Tech and broke more than a few Brackets vs USC) You also have Donald Williams at #10

Number 11 is Jimmy King, and Juwan pushing hard to get him is shown as is #46 Ray Jackson (At 44 – Greg Ostertag! #47 Lamond Murray!) Getting those three locked down allowed the staff to concentrate the entire year on Chris Webber and Jalen Rose.

We come back with Jalen Rose, and his story is told. I do love that he wore 42, since his dad was 24 and he wanted the motivation. Film of Webber is shown. Dude is like a foot taller than anyone else. Jalen breaks down city school vs private school. Juwan talks about going after Chris harder than the coaches did. Of course, this is all legal for the NCAA. Odd that nothing about Michigan State is said.

Jalen Rose signs, and his high school coach is hired by Michigan to be an assistant. Odd that nothing more is said there. One had nothing to do with the other, I’m sure.

Yup, no famous teams had baggy shorts before Michigan

So the Fab Five is signed, numbers 1,4,5,11 and 46 prospects in the country. Jalen Rose is a SF, by the way.

Jalen pushes for the baggy shorts, Jordan is shown with baggy shorts- mentioned, but of course, no one ever wore baddy shorts before

Duke is brought up, with the Uncle Tom comment by Jalen Rose. Christian Leattner gets some serious hate here.

Long streak of trash talking. I grew up in the South, in a mixed-race area. I learned how to talk smack – even with my limited skillset. Kinda funny when they showed letter from Michigan graduates who were upset about the way the five carried themselves- and there is lousy handwriting and grammatical errors. Michigan Education, ladies and gentlemen!

Next season 20-8, complaining about the 6 seed.

Funny bit about Steve Fisher lying to his team about them getting a cameo on the Cosby Show. You would almost think that it would tick a team off, considering they keep calling it a family.

Duke vs Michigan.

Leattner stunk in the start of the game, when he sat- Michigan took control, of course, they only had a one point lead. Second Half? Duke crushed them. The difference was Leattner and Hurley going off- I forget, who was the C and PG for the Wolverines?

Chris Webber cussing out the media is funny- then showing his half-hearted apology.
They do admit that Duke was better than they were.

Between seasons, Michigan gets to go to Europe. The Fab Five seemed to hate it. Juwan says they were spoiled, Jalen says he complained the whole time. One funny bit where they tell some girls that they were a rap group. Jalen says it made them feel like pros.

Webber talks about them going undefeated.

Jalen Rose tells the story of them wearing black socks for the first time (a year after the director says he saw them) A good bit of complaining about money. I understand the whole pay me system, and I can see Michigan did handle it wrong.

The year after winning the title Michigan sold 1.6M in merchandise. Fab Five sophomore year? 10M. This a major problem the NCAA has.

Bill Walton fussing about them, saying they thing they are better than they are (Hmmm)

Michigan listing to rap comes up- funny if you watch the I hate Christian Leattner, he was doing the same thing.

Jalen Rose’s crack house arrest is brought it. Illinois chanting Crack House at him is talked about, and Rose just crushes them. The thought of them chanting Just Say No at him is funny. I do think Rose got a raw deal here.

We get to the tournament (they never mention that Indiana won the Big 10)

24-6  gets them a 1 seed.

Then we get something never talked about, but if it happened today, would cause a riot vs UCLA. Michigan scores with 1.6 seconds left, and the TIME RUNS OUT. They don’t stop the clock, UCLA doesn’t get a chance, just the time keeps going. Holy Shit people.

Then rest of the run is just ignored, but they do say Kentucky was the top team, who they beat in the Final Four Game. Kentucky was 30-4, and UNC was ranked Number 1 going into the tournament. You know, just saying.

Michigan is out of timeouts, they have to foul, UNC makes two free throws. Michigan takes the ball out- Webber TRAVELS, and to its credit, they do call it out. Webber is trapped by Lynch and Phelps, and I don’t care what anyone says- those are two solid trap guys, Webber isn’t getting the ball out.

They show people on the bench that might be making the timeout signal. Good bit on the fallout, with Fisher and Rose giving thoughts, Webber doesn’t want to face the media, but he does put up a strong front. Pretty brave to put up with all that. Nothing is mentioning on Montross dropping 16 pts, and Donald Williams going for 25 and Lynch doing a 12/10 number on the team. The thought from King was all five would leave for the NBA. Can’t argue with the thought process.

Big Ed is brought up, and how Martin would help out some of the players. Mitch Albom is brought up for a long stretch, and he kind of makes conflicting remarks and how poor Webber was, then on how much Martin was giving players. Its shown that the Fab Five era the help from Big Ed was pretty well hidden, but by the mid-90s not so well, and Fisher is fired for a lack of control.

I’m sure losing in the first round back to back years then missing out completely had NOTHING to do with it.

Rose admits getting a “couple grand” and going in front of the grand jury. Webber throws Martin under the bus with two hands. Rose was upset about it, and it hurt their friendship. Can’t say I blame him. Martin comes across like a predator. Michigan says that Martin gave almost 600K.

Michigan vacates all its wins, and cannot have any contact with the 4 players implicated for 10 years. That’s just stupid- seems to me that they should be the ones you WANT on campus to speak to the kids. Ray Jackson is upset about losing the banners.

Now we get blowing Michigan.


Jalen Rose wants to know who won 3 years ago, 5 years ago, what was the starting lineup of the team that beat him (I can do that) He does make a solid point for a lot of fans. I couldn’t tell you Duke’s starting lineup, but I can tell you all about Carolina’s team for 20 years. The think I think he misses is the only players anyone knows on his team is himself and Webber, I don’t think Juwan is even that remembered. I’d say that the Michigan team was 1 great player, 2 very good players and their two buddies.So how is the 30 for 30?

It’s a fluff job, and I lose a bit of respect for Mitch Albom, but I tend to do that whenever Michigan is involved. It’s well worth the watch but do a a bit of reading before and after watching. Michigan simply couldn’t handle the ACC Powers, and they were a flash in the pan. Look at the UNLV teams before, and let’s all keep in mind this is a bit of a dry spell for talent.

92 We have Shaq (Undercoached) and Zo as the only members of the Hall of Fame- and Laettner should have gone in years ago. Only 5 draftees ever made an all-star game.
93 Webber is the only member that will even be considered, and I don’t think he should make it. When guys like Vin Baker and Allan Houston are amoung the best of your class.
94 Zero Hall of Famers, outside of Jason Kidd and Grant Hill, this is a crappy class as well.

So out of those 3 years that the Fab Five was there- other than 94, there is a serious lack of high-caliber talent.

I’ll go a 5 here. Basketball people will enjoy it, students of the game will get good and upset about it, but it’s a fun watch.

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