This documentary needed to be done. There is no denying the transcendent influence that the Fab Five have had on college basketball. They made baggy shorts and black socks cool. They embraced hip hop, trash talking and tattoos. They talked the talk, and more importantly, they walked the walk. It's quite astounding to comprehend what these guys accomplished on the floor at such a young age. During the '92 and '93 seasons, Michigan combined for more than 50 wins and made consecutive trips to the National Championship game -- all while relying almost exclusively on teenagers. In one particular regular season contest, 100% of the Wolverines' points were tallied by the ultra-talented freshman...amazing. Almost every college basketball fan would be able to name all Fab Five members with little effort, but most would struggle to name the starting rotation of the teams that beat them in consecutive national championship games. That's how popular these guys were/are.
One of the most interesting portions of the program was when Jalen Rose (executive producer) called black players that attended Duke "Uncle Toms," yet his running mate for two years, Chris Webber, considered Duke and even took an official visit to the campus. For some reason this contradiction was never exposed during the interview process. Despite this vexing omission, I thought the remainder of the dialogue was done quite well. The honesty from the players, especially when describing their thoughts on Christian Laettner, was candid, and if anything else, entertaining.
The final "Chapter" of this film explored the controversial relationship Rose and Webber had with a Detroit millionaire (his name escapes me at the moment). According to several sources, Webber and Rose were given monetary "gifts" from this man while in college. Under oath, Rose -- who apparently received far less cash than Webber -- admitted to his transgressions and has moved on from the incident. Webber, though, denied taking the $200,000 in question and was later charged with perjury and sentenced to hundreds of hours of community to service.
To this day, his stance hasn't changed on the matter and the Final Four banners from his two seasons in Ann Arbor remain rolled up in a dusty library basement.
SIDE NOTE: Chris Webber, Juwan Howard, Jalen Rose and Jimmy King were national top 15 recruits as seniors. Ray Jackson was Texas' top prep and ranked 48th. Even top-tier programs like Duke, North Carolina, Kansas, Kentucky and Ohio State rarely attract more than two top 20 recruits in a given class.
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