By: Terry Foster
There has been a lot of speculation whether former Michigan forward Chris Webber will show up for tonight’s National Championship game between Michigan and Louisville. Webber lives in Atlanta, the Fab Five sanctions expires later this spring and he once professed his love for Michigan.
Jimmy King, Jalen Rose, Juwan Howard and Ray Jackson are all expected to show up tonight. My guess is Webber does not. And he should not show up. There is still a lot of pain between Webber and Michigan.
This is not the time for him to come out of the wood work and high five people in the stands. He is a banned player and I am sure there is hurt on both sides. The Fab Five era, where five freshmen came to start under Coach Steve Fisher, was the most exciting period in Michigan basketball history. They went to two Final Fours, losing to Duke and North Carolina, and battled for Big Ten titles. They changed the culture of sports and made players in football and basketball target Michigan as a destination.
But there are no banners to commemorate their achievements. Many Michigan fans act as if the Fab Five did not exist. The number one target is Webber. I’ve been told Michigan would extend a hand of friendship if Webber were to apologize. He, however, is a stubborn man and that apology may never come.
Let me say one thing here. Chris Webber and Perry Watson did not bring Ed Martin to Michigan’s program. He was an unofficial program many years before they got there. He used to give my cousin Michigan basketball tickets and I used to see him at games when Glen Rice and that 1989 National Championship team played in Ann Arbor. There used to be shoe guys and street agents and people with big cash. I always wondered who these people were.
At some point Michigan and Webber will bury the hatchet and make peace. Now is not the time. Maybe the next time Michigan appears in a Final Four is the right time.