Mar 8, 2011, 11:38 AM EDT
They’re college basketball’s most talked about team that never won anything, known as the Fab Five, Michigan’s 1991 recruiting class which included Jalen Rose, Jimmy King, Ray Jackson, Chris Webber and Juwan Howard. Interesting to see that 18 years later, they still harbor some bitterness over what they weren’t able to accomplish. With special acrimony still reserved for Duke. Rose, King and Jackson appeared on ESPN’s First Take this morning to discuss 30 for 30’s documentary on the Fab Five that will air on Sunday.
About midway through the First Take segment, they played a clip from the documentary in which Rose says:
“For me, Duke was personal. I hated Duke. And I hated everything I felt Duke stood for. Schools like Duke didn’t recruit players like me. I felt like they only recruited black players that were Uncle Toms.”
Asked about the comment, Rose didn’t exactly backtrack, but elaborated:
“Well, certain schools recruit a typical kind of player whether the world admits it or not. And Duke is one of those schools. They recruit black players from polished families, accomplished families. And that’s fine. That’s okay. But when you’re an inner-city kid playing in a public school league, you know that certain schools aren’t going to recruit you. That’s one. And I’m okay with it. That’s how I felt as an 18-year-old kid.”
See the First Take interview video here.
Hard to know where to start here. First, obviously you’re not “okay with it,” because if you were you wouldn’t still sound so bitter. For their parts, King and Jackson agreed, Jackson saying that he appreciates now “what [Duke] has accomplished,” but he still hates them.
Looks like an interesting documentary. The Fab Five brought a “hip-hop flavor” to the game and changed it in many ways, but never won a Big Ten or national championship. Ironically, they’re probably best known for Webber’s phantom time out call against North Carolina in 1993, and a huge NCAA rules scandal that resulted a few years later in the firing of coach Steve Fisher and several sanctions against the school.
I’m not even going to get into the sadness of Rose playing the “Uncle Tom” card. That’s just beneath you, Jalen, in so many ways.
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