Foul, loss of possession.
Basketball is a sport, a game -- not a fight.
I don't actually have many memories of the Fab Five on the court. I remember being utterly heartsick when Webber called that timeout. That moment is undoubtedly the genesis of my obsession with rules that suck and should be changed*. I remember hating that technical when the ref could have just ignored it and left Webber to figure it out himself.
I also remember a black t-shirt I had commemorating the '92 Final Four, but incompletely. I know Cincinnati was on the shirt. I had to look up the other two teams, look up that Michigan beat the Bearcats in the semi before losing to Duke, look up the fact that Michigan was just a six seed. I remember the shirt being embroidered, because that's what happened in 1992 when you wanted something fancy. It was scratchy. I loved it.
I've got the heartsick and the shirt; everything else has melted away. When Wolverine Historian posted one of their games against Illinois I watched it and was stunned by… well, everything. A stone-cold packed Crisler full of people losing their minds. The helter-skelter nature of the game on both ends. Michigan—Michigan!—having a bunch of defiant, ruckus-raising black guys Jim Nantz remains terrified of to this day.
That is not the equilibrium state of Michigan basketball. That does not come from Earth. It comes from a planet with a green sun and marshmallow donkeys.
Later I remember loathing Chris Webber. Years and years had passed and Webber was on a very good Sacramento Kings team playing the Lakers in the conference finals. Sacramento had just gotten legendarily boned in game six. I remember watching game seven smugly, thinking Webber was born to fail in the moment of truth as he clanged threes and the Kings evaporated.
Anyone with a soul roots against the Lakers for the same reason they root against the Yankees. Sacramento had just suffered through a game that Tim Donaughy could point to years later as an example of a fix only to have obsessives like Bill Simmons say "tell me something I don't know." My loathing for Webber overcame all.
Some years later Webber was a trade-deadline acquisition for the Pistons during the period when the Billups/Prince/Hamilton/McDyess core still had my full attention. I was unhappy with it but dealt. I watched Chris Webber play basketball again. By that point he had suffered a variety of injuries that left him barely able to jump. He was useless defensively, an old man devoid of the thunderous athleticism that I assumed must have been part and parcel of why he was so good in college, the #1 pick in the draft, etc. By all rights he should have been out of the league already. Like Shawn Kemp, basically.
The reason he wasn't was his passing. Someone who paid more attention to the NBA than I did or wasn't 14 the last time he saw Webber play much already knew this. I didn't. I knew Chris Webber, though. I knew he was a liar and a choker and not very smart and just a general all-around jerk who wouldn't even apologize. I knew the Fab Five was just a bunch of guys who played schoolyard basketball because they were so outrageously better than everyone they could get away with it.
I knew Chris Webber until I watched him play. He dropped passes in spaces that didn't exist until he saw them. He hit cutters that didn't know they were open until the ball was in their hands. He was brilliant despite having the athleticism of Artie Lang. He was incredible fun. Despite myself I really liked watching Chris Webber play basketball, and now I don't think I know one thing about him.
To say Michigan has done a 180 in re: the cultural alignment of their basketball team understates things despite that being axiomatically impossible. The old ringleader just called black guys at Duke "Uncle Toms"; the new one is from Chesterton, Indiana, and once knew 62 digits of pi. After Michigan completed its season sweep of MSU the most desperate, laughable assertion I came across from some guy on an MSU message board was that Michigan had "thugs" on its team, an accusation that would have been uncomfortable during the Fab Five era and literally true when Ellerbe was running things into the ground.
Webber's been banned and feels repudiated and people feel free to demand an apology from him before he even thinks about setting foot in Crisler again, so I get why he doesn't feel like he owes anyone anything. If he wouldn't talk to Jalen Rose for his documentary, it's hard to believe he'll actually "tell his side soon" as he hoped on twitter.
This is immensely disappointing to me. I don't hate him any more and don't care about apologies, don't care about the crater he is often blamed for no matter how little input he had on hiring Ellerbe**. I'd just like to know every last detail of what happened.
Because I don't understand Jalen Rose, don't understand Webber, don't understand the lady in the gas station on the South Side of Chicago I asked directions of who responded "I don't know about any damn directions." I do understand the visceral thrill of those bald heads and black socks, but only vicariously, like a kid from Troy buying an NWA cassette. I can't say why I thought Jim Nantz's obviously racist distaste for the Fab Five was obviously racist, but I had a Nantz-like reaction to that lady in Chicago. I understand why my fiancée continually mishears Duke's mascot as the "white devils" and simultaneously have less than zero sympathy for Robert Traylor and would want to punch him in the face if I ever met him and he was tied to a rock and he had no idea who I was and I could definitely run away before he got loose.
Webber's redemption never happened with him or Taylor or Bullock, and while Bullock was from some suburb in Maryland and cannot be redeemed—seriously, he can die in a fire for all I care—maybe if Chris Webber said something brutally honest it would help me be less confused and sad about Michigan basketball in the 90s, and maybe a bunch of other things of greater significance.
It bothers me that Michigan's response to the NCAA scandal was to go from culturally black enough to have Ice Cube in your documentary to Duke Lite, but goddammit I also wanted some directions. I want Chris Webber to gently untie this Gordian knot in an hour-long interview on national television. When he's done the pieces will assemble themselves into a butterfly with big ears and a huge assist rate. This is the least he can do for 13-year-old me and my embroidered Final Four t-shirt. Thanks in advance.
**[Tom Goss, not Ed Martin, is the man who killed Michigan basketball.]
Foul, loss of possession.
Basketball is a sport, a game -- not a fight.
I was there. Charlotte is the capital of slow, white, farm boys.
His name is Lange with an E.
Baba booey to you all.
People look back on the hiring of Ellerbe as a stupid decision, but Goss had no choice. Fisher was fired in September. It would be impossible to hire a guy from the outside. Then Ellerbe won the conference basketball tournament. The biggest mistake regarding Ellerbe was giving him a fourth year when he clearly wasn't a good coach after year 3.
Of course he had a choice. First, the NCAA report came out in August. He could have fired Fisher then. He chose instead to sit on his butt until October, when he suddenly decided to fire Fisher. Then, he decided to pass over both the #1 (Dutcher) and #2 (Trost) assistants in favor of the #3 guy, Ellerbe. Both decisions were indefensible.
Again. It's totally defensible. I know you think Dutcher should have gotten the job, but why wasn't Goss justified in clearing house aside from the one guy on the staff who wasn't connected to the scandal? Ellerbe was a disaster, of course, but if your goal is to attempt to cut off your program from everybody who was around when your players were on the take, you pass over Dutcher every single time.
First, there is no rational defense of Goss's timetable. The report came out in August. Why did it take him two months to figure out whether or not to fire the coach? The school year started and everyone assumed it was business as usual, and then suddenly, in October, Goss decided to make a move. He created the "bind" that made it impossible to hire an external guy.
Second, if he thought Dutcher and Trost were guilty by association, he should have fired them along with Fisher. It makes no sense to leave them on the staff if you think they're poor leaders of the team.
Third, asking the #3 assistant to take over, and for the #1 and #2 assistants to serve under him, is a slap in the face to both of them, not to mention the players who knew nothing of the new coach. It shouldn't surprise anyone that the players, and recruits, tuned Ellerbe out. SOP in these cases is to promote the lead assistant and go from there. It's an interim gig. You can fire him after the season.
Listen, I'm not disagreeing that Tom Goss messed up in a number of things. My point is that there were a lot of other options for that job, and none of them should have been Brian Dutcher or Scott Trost. Or, in hindsight, Brian Ellerbe. The timeline wasn't right. The "process" wasn't right. But continuing the Frieder/Fisher line of coaches that got the program into trouble with an assistant who had been around the entire time wasn't a viable decision.
The whole thing, beginning to end, is a total function of the complete dysfunction of our Athletic Department from when Don Canham retired through Bill Martin being hired, though that could be considered debatable after the complete debacle going on behind the scenes after Bo died. Michigan football was strong enough to transcend it. Michigan basketball, however, was not.
A conference basketball Tournament, you probably shouldn't be in the position to make the tough decisions.
And while Goss stabbed Michigan Basketball in the heart, Martin threw some dirt on it by hiring Amaker. Hopefully we can give him credit for a resurrection if Beilein keeps trending upward.
Which is where the school of thought comes from that Michigan basketball may have been a lot better off in the long run if Rumeal had missed the free throws in '89, Fisher gets a simple atta-boy, and Bo calls up Bobby Knight to orchestrate a real coaching search.
Look at the postgame interview Musburger did with Bo after that game and watch Bo's face when Musburger essentially asks him to anoint Fisher then and there. That's not a guy that was necessarily looking to hire Steve Fisher, but the game forced his hand.
It's definitely counterfactual history, but let's not mistake the fact that the Fab Five came out of Fisher's need to essentially save his job after two fairly iffy recruiting classes. One of which culminated in failing to nail down Eric Montross, who should have been an absolute no-brainer Michigan lock. And after the Fab Five era was over, Fisher had to prove it again, and that's how we ended up with the Willie Mitchell class.
In (yes, quite possibly wrongly) caving to the pressure after the school's first ever National Championship in a sport led by the head assistant of a winning program vs. Not doing your due diligence over a win in a brand new conference Tournament led by your 3rd assistant who just came to you after getting canned.
ha ha no. This isn't football. Yes, Michigan had a recent national championship, but so did Indiana, and Purdue had recent conference titles and national recognition as well. Fisher was recruiting against Knight, Keady, and Dean Smith ... how on earth would that be a lock for Fisher? (Had Montross gone to Purdue, though, I'm not sure Robinson would have followed ... Keady tended not to stock bigs, and I don't think Robinson would have been interested in sharing playing time in any way.)
If anything, it was bold of Fisher to try to pull a top recruit out of Indiana (or foolish, perhaps), and impressive that he was able to stay on the list when Montross narrowed it down. (Of course kids should go where they think it's best for themselves, but a much younger version of me didn't think so, and I had plenty of company. Purdue and IU fans pretty much united in criticizing his decision to go out-of-state.)
Montross' father and grandfather both played basketball for Michigan. His mother, as I recall, was a Michigan grad, as well. And his sister was playing softball at Michigan at the time. Michigan had him in the bag, and Fisher blew it. It wasn't some random kid from Indiana, it was a kid with multi-generational Michigan ties who was all but signed on the dotted line, and ended up at UNC instead.
It is literally insane how many timeouts can be called at the end of a basketball game. That and intentionally fouling (which ironically enough is never called intentional) just make the game crawl to a halt and make it nearly impossible for me to watch. With that being said glad the hoops team is tourney bound yet again in the Beilein era!
I wouldn't go as far as Brian's 1 timeout rule, since coach's do need to break momentum from time to time. It's not like hockey, where you don't really need one until you want to set something up late in the game.
I'd say 3 is the right number. Still gives the opportunity for a coach to halt momentum, or a player to use one to save a possession, but doesn't allow for a coach to have 3-4 to use in the last two minutes.
College basketball is seriously overcoached.
I'd take Tyus Edney's end to end rush over the stalled 'chess match' between overpaid simpletons (Beilein excluded naturally) any day.
my favorite comments are the ones that call me out for the thing I'm admitting to and repudaiting in the very post they're responding to. these do not make me want to die at all.
This is basically what ThWard said below, but I'm going to try to make it clearer:
Brian thought he knew what made Webber a good basketball player, but watching him play for the Pistons made him realize that he was wrong.
The fact that he was wrong about Webber as a player made him question his assessment of Webber as a person.
Brian isn't proposing some kind of necessary relationship between Webber's playing and his character. He's saying that there might be a relationship betweeen two judgements he made at 14: one turned out to be wrong, so he began to think the other one might be wrong, too.
He doesn't say he was definitely wrong about his judgement about Webber's character. He says he's not sure if he was right. Because maybe his judgement was based on incomplete information, or an immature perspective, or who knows what else might have also influenced his assessment of Webber's playing. Thus his desire to hear Webber's story.
Not to mention that you'd basically have to have never read the site before to think that Brian makes character judgements based on "athletic feats."
This was a remarkably eloquent post.
"but your multi-paragraph explanation of what Brian meant but didn't say is somehow proper logic?"
Uh, yeah. It's called "reading between the lines." You think quoting Brian's actual text is using logic? I could quote a lot of people and it doesn't mean I'm capturing their point. Think of it as similar to using sound bites in political campaigns. It's easy to misconstrue the meaning of a quote...you've demonstrated this perfectly.
The money quote from Pitterpat:
"Brian isn't proposing some kind of necessary relationship between Webber's playing and his character. He's saying that there might be a relationship betweeen two judgements he made at 14: one turned out to be wrong (ed. His opinion on Webber as a basketball player), so he began to think the other one might be wrong, too. (ed. His opinion on Webber as a person)" <-----THIS.
Watching Webber play made him question all of his judgements about Webber. Not that because Webber was an outstanding basketball player he is also an awesome person. Again, logic fail.
you keep insisting that your interpretation of that quote is the only possible one, even though it relies on an illogical leap that makes no sense in light of the rest of the post.
your entire self-righteous rant about how Brian shouldn't dare to write about the Fab5 because he's clearly (by his own admission) not the world's leading expert on them is based on your assumption that this quote : "I knew Chris Webber until I watched him play" means that Brian is saying Webber's playing = = Webber's character, which doesn't make any sense at all.
all the quote says is that Webber's playing made him question what he knew about Chris Webber. he thought he knew this thing, until this other thing happened. then he didn't know the first thing any more. does that mean he made a new judgement about Webber? we don't know. all that quote says is that he retracted the first one.
and what does the rest of the post tell us? does Brian claim that now he "knows" Webber? or make any new judgements about his character? or say, "he must be a great guy because boy can he throw a pass?" No. the title of the post, and the entire thrust of it, is that he doesn't know Webber's side of the story, he doesn't have enough information to judge, his initial judgements were wrong.
So I think the more logical interpretation, in light of the title of the post, what precedes that quote, and what follows it, is that that means seeing Webber play made him question both his assumptions about Webber as an athlete and as a person.
and holy cats, man. Brian was writing about HIS memories of the Fab5, which he introduced by saying were fuzzy and vague, HIS emotional response to the documentary about them, and HIS desire to hear Webber's side of the story. who's a better authority on those things than Brian himself?
People come to this blog to read nuanced, interesting, and intelligent insight on Michigan sports. I don't agree with everything Brian says so don't bother giving someone who disagrees with you the b.s. about criticizing "Dear Leader." That's not what this is about...you're employing another classic logical fallacy with that one: The straw man...with a hint of the red herring.
Brian is a story teller. Part of story telling is about fitting complex ideas into an interesting narrative...this involves not explicitly. stating. every. single. meaning. to. every. single. line. This is precisely why "reading between the lines" is a far more useful logical tool than a damn blockquote, and again, why people come to this blog instead of reading some shoddily written piece on another blog. He's not reading off a boxscore.
It is risky to write in such a style, as it relies often on the reader's ability to comprehend complex ideas within the written narrative without explicit explanation. If you or anyone else can't comprehend what others have seemed to pick up and understand quite clearly, that's not Brian's problem.
Its great that you can admit that you didn't watch and now are 'stunned' by the replays. It's also great that you can look back, rexamine your dislike, and conclude you don't understand. If you're stepping away from the 'feel massively conflicted' line that sounded like a directive, I commend you, but I'm not sure you're there.
You seem to think the rest of us (or at least most of us) share or shared the negative views of your 13-year-old-self. Many of us didn't. We loved Chris and we quickly forgave him, even though he disappointed us, because of what he gave us. We rooted for the Bullets and Kings, even if we were Pistons fans. We were happy to hear he'd be 'coming home' as a Piston, even as a fraction of what he was and could have been. We never hated him or even came close. It's almost unthinkable.
Maybe this is just a personal thing since I'm the same age as you and share many of your emotions towards football. That my conscious fandom predates yours by a few years (probably because I grew up in AA rather than a D-burb) doesn't really change anything in football thanks to the stability of Bo-Moeller-Carr transitions. You get being a Michigan football fan for a wide swatch of ages because of tradition and consistency. And your talent as a writer has made you the voice for the collective soul Michigan football fans.
In Basketball, however, those few years made a striking difference. Your previous view of the Fab5 as "so outrageously better than everyone they could get away with it" is that of the outsider. Hearing that is like someone comparing Michigan football to the Yankees or Lakers: Despite the grain of truth (entitlement and arrogance cloaked as tradition and excellence), its an unacceptable view for 'one of us' to have. Its not how we see things. An undisciplined but 'getting away with it because of talent' was not how Michigan fans who watched every game saw things; even if it's somewhat true. Even if they were brash and lacked class you knew they were great guys: charismatic, caring, and smart. Like children, the flaws are irrelevant because everything else is so beautiful.
The contrast between getting it (in football) and not (in basketball) is stark.
Maybe I'm wrong - maybe people who didn't sign on to fandom until Ellerbe or even later think I'm the one who doesn't get it. Maybe our basketball fans are as fractured on the fab 5 as our football fans are on Rodriguez and no consensus can ever be reached. Regardless, it should be noted that for some of us, sports will never get better than being 13 or 14 and watching the Fab5. And though even Kordell Stewart or OSU '06 were not as crushing as losing to UNC, you still wouldn't trade it for a 'normal' championship with 'regular' players. Any undue negativity towards that era will never be accepted by a substantial part of the fanbase.
"I remember watching game seven smugly, thinking Webber was born to fail in the moment of truth as he clanged threes and the Kings evaporated."
Webber was 2 rebounds shy of a triple-double and took only 1 3-pointer in Game 7 (the game that should never have happened) against the lakes. Webber didn't choke (20 points, 8 rebounds, 11 assists, 2 blocks, 1 steal).
Peja (3 for 12) and Doug Christie (2 for 11) did.
Please see Michigan men's basketball, 1989 National Champs. There were, I think, six future NBA players on that team.
The 89 team was probably deeper. Rice, Robinson, Vaught, Mills and Higgins...
I still remember the 89 Illinois-Michigan games with Bardo, Gill, Battle, Anderson, Liberty and Hamilton. The Big Ten back then was loaded with NBA talent.
Glen Rice was, in that tournament, one of the best college players ever to set foot on a court.
There still wasn't a HOF-level player like Webber on the '89 team but the Fab5 didn't have a shooter anywhere near the level of Glen Rice.
I loved both teams and Rice & Webber are my two favorite Wolverines of all time. I think Loy Vaught may be #3.
I wonder where he is these days?
You're basically comparing Rice, Mills and Vaught with Webber, Rose and Howard. The rest on both teams barely got a sniff. Pretty comparable.
If you're comparing what Freshmen and Sophomores did with a Senior and Juniors, well, going to two Finals and losing vs. 1 and winning, it's interesting to think what they could have done as upperclassmen....
My main point is that the Fab 5 teams were not miles better than any team Michigan had ever had, as suggested above...As for the guys sticking around, it's easy to believe that they would have won a title in their last two years given that they took eventual champ Arkansas to the mat the year after Webber left.
There was a lot of talent during that era. And frankly, not you, buy others seem to act like the '89 team was squeaky clean. And they must either not remember Frieder, or pay much attention to Rumeal.
I think you missed Brian's point. His "hate" changing after watching C-Webb play was an illustration and acknowledgement that he clearly didn't know the guy. That his preconceived notions may very well be off base. The fact that the realization came from watching him play is irrelevant to the more profound point - we don't know these guys well enough to judge them so harshly.
But with that - the "lying to the grand jury" thing is, um, quite a big thing and probably will get you fairly labeled a liar, to some degree. As someone else pointed out, the denouncing of U of M while he was in the period of maintaining his complete innocence was also less than awesome.
I don't think C-Webb is a bad person. But it takes a great deal of maturity to realize that apologies carry great power - that even if you feel some indignation about the reasons for apologizing, to get past that, and recognize how profoundly healing that act can be for a school that loved you (and still wants to love you) and as well as a school that you once claimed to love... well, again, I think that'd be really mature. Necessary? Maybe not.
You still don't get it.
Try again. I know it's confusing that the column isn't all in single-sentence paragraphs, but give it another shot.
I get excited by winning. I don't like trash talk. Swagger? Instead, how about the quiet confidence that comes from hard work and the knowledge that you are ready to compete and win?
What do you think John Wooden thought about trash talk? Do you think Kareem talked trash? Or Bill Russell?
Later players like Michael Jordon or Reggie Miller or the Fab Five did talk trash, and I think it is an unfortunate relection on them, the game and the times we lived and live in.
I understand your point, but couldn't disagree with it more.
Basketball, unlike other sports, is highly reliant on what you think you can do as opposed to what you can do. Confidence, momentum matters more in this sport more than any other (see 2 missed calls leading to 16-0 OSU run).
You don't have to get excited about "get the fuck off my court", but it's psychological warfare. No different than Russell being extremely nice to Chamberlain so that Wilt maybe didn't go all out to destroy Russell as he would of somebody else.
Or MJ's vendetta against everything and everyone. He (wrongly) believed people thought he was less than great and used it to fuel him.
"Get the fuck off my court" and swagger in general isn't a bad thing as long as it's left on the court. Jordan's wasn't and that's why he was simultaneously the GOAT on the court and an unlikeable asshole off the court.
The Fab 5's mentality and Morris' statement are signs that they think they should win which can often be priceless in basketball.
Kareem certainly did some jawing in his day. Larry Bird was one of the biggest trash-talkers of all time.
I'm too young to know about Russell.
Football players have been talking junk to each other on the field forever.
Basketball players are just more noticable because you see them up close and there aren't any face-masks to hide behind.
It happens some in baseball too but they call it "chatter" so it seems more Wonderbread.
What do you think Babe Ruth was doing when he pointed his bat to the outfield, calling his shot?
His NBA career after he was overdrafted lasted 5 minutes. (And spare me, he sucked before the car accident gave him an excuse for sucking).
To say Michigan has done a 180 in re: the cultural alignment of their basketball team understates things despite that being axiomatically impossible. The old ringleader just called black guys at Duke "Uncle Toms"; the new one is from Chesterton, Indiana, and once knew 62 digits of pi.
Those players dad's had more in common with Jalen, mostly. Even Dumars, who had a dad, grew up pretty poor, and without a silver spoon. Heck, the "son of" coming in next year almost WAS one of the Fab Five.
The first two seasons of the Fab 5 era coincided with my Junior and Senior years at Michigan and they were high times, I can tell you. In those days basketball came close to surpassing football as the dominant sport on campus. I will never forget sprinting out of my apartment on Church Street with my buddies after we beat Kentucky and partying with what had to be at least 15.000 other students on South U. Glorious.
I look back on those days now with mixed feelings because of the price we paid for those moments and wonder to myself if it was worth it. I may never be able to say for certain but I feel lucky that I was present to witness it, the good and the bad.
Chris is praised and cursed
But one thing people forget:
Pretty cool last name
The hard reality is that Chris Webber is the Reggie Bush of Michigan basketball. I loved those teams when I was a kid but I have to face facts. Webber took enough money to have his official records, and therefore the team's, erased. This is not the stuff of a successful college career, however flashy and fun it may be at the time.
More, I was struck watching the documentary at just how much aesthetics played a role in both the like and dislike of the team. So many of their detractors and fans pointed to their shaved heads, socks, and shorts as reasons why they were significant. I emulated their style when I was a kid, but that all seems pretty superficial now. The Fab 5's lasting legacy is that players now wear long shorts. That just doesn't excite me much.
The Fab 5 brought unprecendented attention to Michigan basketball, but the program was hardly a wasteland before them. The '89 championship season was pretty exciting and it's still on the books...Fast foward more than twenty years and, boring as it may comparitively be, I love the program as it is. I love knowing that any success that Beilein has will come from doing things the right way. That's what Michigan is supposed to be about.
You lost me with "he Fab 5's lasting legacy is that players now wear long shorts."
What else is their legacy? For all the talk of changing the game or of a "revolution," I just don't see how basketball is different because of them.
Talk, act, and look like the Fab Five today, much more than they resemble the players that played for Indiana and Duke at the time. It went from a coaching dictatorship to a Player's game. And talent can come in as a freshman and lead teams, vs. Sitting and waiting their turn.
Maybe these aren't good things, but a lot of it started with the Fab Five. History has a tendency to go in these directions anyway, but they were a catalyst. It might have been something/someone else if they weren't around, but they were.
That's a great point. I wonder how much their success as freshmen stepping into what was then a junior and senior dominated sport had to do with the subsequent wave of high schoolers jumping straight to the NBA? If no Fab 5, is there still a straight to the pros Garnett?
If KG had passed the SAT one try earlier, he probably would've been in Ann Arbor, instead of jumping to the NBA. Michigan was his top choice.
That would've been interesting.
Kobe then probably goes to dook the following year. Maybe nobody tests the NBA waters?
If KG had passed the SAT one try earlier, he probably would've been in Ann Arbor, instead of jumping to the NBA. Michigan was his top choice.
That would've been interesting.
Kobe then probably goes to dook the following year. Maybe nobody tests the NBA waters?
Brandon should've kept his mouth shut. He was still with Valassis when all this went down, yet I found it interesting that he spoke as if he were in the room and played a key role in the decision making process.
I think if you aren't part of the culture, then you just don't get it. It's that simple. I don't care how much of a fan you are/were, whether or not you went to U of M, cheered for all the games, watched them on tv etc...if you weren't lower class, young, and black when they played ball, then you just don't get it. And there is nothing wrong with that. It was a purely cultural thing. The reason why they were so popular?? because everything you saw playing street ball in Detroit, and Chicago, and New York...was now on tv. They didn't do anything that couldn't be found in any city, but they did it for the world to see. I could buy into the resentment for a second, but the resentment started BEFORE all of this went down. The moment they stepped on campus, they were hated and it was fucked up. It was some extremely racist shit and it wasn't just outsiders. No one owns this fucking sport, and it's no ones responsibility to talk about what was "wrong" with what they were doing.
Did Webber really set the program back 15 years? We had a hell of a recruiting class after the Fab 5, that constantly underachieved. We also had two horrible coaches who couldn't recruit a fly to a pile of shit. When they took the banners down, we were already bad.
Webber felt like the school owed him something. They all did, and he was justified in feeling that way, but he should've considered that before signing up to play college basketball where people don't get compensated. Don't benefit from the process, but complain about how it didn't work best for you. Sometimes you gotta put your big boy pants on, and find another cause. He was able to make millions because of his time at Michigan (although he was leaning Duke and would've certainly been just as successful) so he didn't exactly get shafted. He was part of the biggest cultural integration that any American sport has ever seen, he is and will always be famous for that, and if he can grow up at almost forty years old, he can avoid being infamous for that.