When Michigan rose to #1 in the rankings in February, the speculation began. Would the Fab 5 reuinite in the instance that Michigan made it to the Final Four. The debate was polarizing. Many, including myself, thought it best they stay away to prevent distraction and allow the current team the moment in the sun that they have earned. Others wanted nothing more than the eras to converge and unity to reign eternal.
Last night was glorious. The nation would see a Michigan TEAM. An outfit led by an unassuming coach. A group fueled by an underrecruited sophomore point guard who won all of the trophies. A family strengthened by the emergence of 5 freshman of differing pedigrees, all of whom have been critical during a grueling tournament run. And yet....
They showed up shortly before tip-off, causing a major stir. Rose and King strolled from one sideline to the other and eventually took their seats, just a few feet away from Coleman. Much of the attention on that side of the arena was on them as players were introduced.
At halftime, Rose and King moved to floor level and were available to reporters, doing several interviews. They were doing the same in the locker room (post game) when U-M assistant coach LaVall Jordan gently suggested the four of them retreat to a private room until interviews were over and they could spend some quiet time with the current players.
It was a move that seemed to suit those current players'
Josh Bartelstein has it right:
“I mean, this team is its own team,” Bartelstein said just before the locker room emptied. “The Fab Five are great, but the only thing this team and the Fab Five have in common is they each had five really good freshmen. We’ve made our own legacy. I respect those guys a ton … but this is not their team, by any means.
The Fab 5 still has its legacy. It had its adoration. It had its moment. It is STILL a part of the University's history. But to take any atttention from the current student athletes is shameless. This is the rare moment when Chris Webber played it right - staying away from the media hoarde and watching from an unknown location. Ray, Juwan, Jimmy, but first and foremost Jalen Rose - you could use to learn a bit about fading into the background.