Jeff Riger- If Only I Had More Time! (Juwan Howard Interview)
So I went to Auburn Hills this morning to attend the Miami Heat shoot around, hoping that maybe I would get a chance to talk to one of the “Heatels” before they take on the Pistons at the Palace on Wednesday night. As I walked on the court, I was told that LeBron won’t talk, Wade was busy with a trainer and I did not see Bosh anywhere. So I quickly started to think of a plan B, and then it hit me, I saw Juwan Howard on the court taking jumpers and thought to myself….Fab Five! I was a fan of the Fab Five growing up and over the course of my career in radio I have got a chance to talk to four of the five. Yep, you guessed it; Howard was the only one I have never interviewed. So today was the day. I walked up to the Heat public relations head and asked if Howard would be available to talk about his days in Ann Arbor. He responded “yes, however he doesn’t like to talk about the Fab Five much, but feel free to ask him.” I did, and the creator of the best saying ever, “shock the world!” to my surprise was open to answering questions about the recent documentary.
I started off by asking what he thought of the ESPN special and continued from there. I asked him about Michigan playing Duke last Sunday, he spoke about the banners being pulled down and the fact that he still thinks Chris Webber is a “Michigan man.” It was like I was in a title fight — buttering him up with the easier questions until I hit him with a couple of inquiries that I have wondered about for years. The only problem was that just as I got ready to land my first blow, I was waved at by the PR people saying that Juwan had to go and the team bus was leaving. I told Howard “thank you” for his time and left the Palace thinking what we all have thought at one time in our life….”I should have asked that question!”
So I have come to grips with the fact that maybe my only time to talk to Howard about an era of basketball that I loved is now over, so I have decided to do the next best thing… ask my questions I had for Howard to you. Maybe your responses can help me get closure in this truly traumatic time in my life. (Ok, maybe I’m being a little dramatic here, but go just go with it).
Juwan, do you feel guilty at all that the Fab Five is responsible for more than a decade of awful Michigan basketball?
Did you know that Webber and Rose were taking money at the time?
Watching the documentary, I was stunned to see all the raciest hate mail that the Fab Five received, how did that affect you playing in college?
You have now had a chance to play on 2 very unique teams, the Fab Five and this year’s Miami Heat where everybody expects you to win a title with Wade, Bosh and James. How do the two experiences compare?
Did you ever regret wiping your butts on the Spartan S in East Lansing after beating Michigan State or dancing on the press tables after defeating Indiana?
What “Public Enemy” song got you going before a game?
Does being associated with the Fab Five become embarrassing after all these years?
Those are just some of the questions that were running through my mind while I was talking to Howard. What did I miss? Would he have realistically answered any or all of them? If so, what would he say? Tell me, and thank you in advance for the feedback!
Watch the Juwan Howard interview on the Fab Five below.