The story of the Michigan men’s basketball “Fab Five” team of the early 1990s was previously told in 2011’s 30 For 30 documentary directed by Jason Hehir.
Yet one of the story’s key figures was notably missing from the film. Where was Chris Webber?
The estranged Michigan basketball star and 15-year NBA veteran is ready to tell his side of the story now. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Webber’s production company is developing a limited scripted series about the game-changing run by Webber and fellow freshmen Jalen Rose, Juwan Howard, Jimmy King, and Ray Jackson to two NCAA national championship games in 1992 and 1993.
The series will be based on Webber’s upcoming autobiography, titled By God’s Grace. The production team is currently looking for writers to work on the project, which isn’t yet attached to any particular studio or network.
“What I think is different about it is I’ve never spoken about my time with the Fab Five,” Webber told THR‘s Rich Porter. “There’s a lot of behind the scenes that not many people know about, and it’s about so many things. Hopefully, I’ll be able to express those things, whether it’s about Detroit or the work ethic of the city and the factories — all those things that made us.”
Those Final Four appearances and most of Michigan’s wins from the 1991-92 and 1992-93 seasons were vacated due to a scandal involving Webber accepting money from booster Ed Martin. Webber later went on to be indicted for obstruction of justice and lying to a grand jury. He eventually pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of criminal contempt, paid a fine, and avoided prison.
Howard, now the men’s basketball coach at Michigan, and Jackson will be consultants on the project. Their involvement adds some legitimacy to the project, presumably ensuring that the story won’t entirely be from Webber’s perspective. The 30 For 30 documentary also involved insight from several figures involved, notably Rose and King.
But Howard and Jackson consulting is also notable because Webber has distanced himself from his former teammates in recent years. He declined to join the other four Fab Fivers for a reunion when Michigan played Louisville in the 2013 NCAA championship game. Webber and Rose also traded barbs publicly over the Fab Five documentary, in addition to remarks Rose made about Webber in his book, Give the People What They Want.
In addition to the book and TV series, Webber also revealed that he is working on a different documentary about the Fab Five and his career at Michigan. Though he didn’t say for certain, the THR article indicates that the documentary may go into some of the off-the-court aspects of the story, such as the Ed Martin scandal.
“It’s awesome to be able to look back with a clear vision and being older, to share with the world what it was,” Webber also said to THR. “And not to be coy, to face all the controversy that was there too. But it’s wonderful that Juwan is back there coaching, and everyone’s still involved and still in love with basketball. I’m just so excited to tell this story and clear the lane for some other people to tell their stories.”