Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Curse of the Fab Five

Chris Webber, Juwan Howard, Jalen Rose, Jimmy King and Ray Jackson.  20 years ago these five players took the basketball world by storm, leading the University of Michigan to the championship game of the NCAA tournament as freshmen.  Since then, it has all been downhill for these men.  A second loss in the NCAA championship the next year led the Fab Five to disband, and four of the five eventually made their way into the pros.  However, despite great individual success none of them has ever won a championship.  Based on these statistics, it doesn't look like the Heat will be winning a title as long as they have the last playing member of the Fab Five on their team.

Chris Webber: #1 overall pick in 1993.  Instead of creating what would have been a lethal front court with Webber and Shaq, Webber gets traded to the Warriors.  The Magic go to the NBA Finals that year, and despite playing well in Golden State, Webber doesn't get along with his coach and flees to the Washington Bullets.  In Washington he plays well, but injuries limit him.  Eventually, he finds his way to the Kings and has great success, but the Kings never make it to the NBA Finals.  Severely limited by knee problems, C-Webb plays out the rest of his career on the Sixers and Pistons.

Jalen Rose: #13 overall pick in 1994.  Jalen Rose arrives in Denver the year after the Nugs upset the Sonics and make it to the Western Conference finals.  After two average years there, he is traded to the Indiana Pacers and is a crucial part of a team that makes three consecutive Eastern Conference finals and one NBA finals.  Of course, they do not win the ultimate prize though.  In 2003 he is traded to the Raptors.  Injuries and lack of talent lead the Raptors to rebuild, and Jalen is shipped to the Knicks.  We all can guess what happens there.  Rose finishes his career quietly in Phoenix in 2007. 

Jimmy King: #35 overall pick in 1995.  In and out of the NBA, King never achieves much notoriety with the Raptors or Nuggets.

Ray Jackson: CBA Rookie of the Year 1995-96

Juwan Howard: #5 overall pick in 1994.  Many thought when the Washington Bullets drafted Howard and had C-Webb that they were going to be a force to be reckoned with.  However, injuries and contract disputes led the Bullets to a dismal three years with the two Fab Fivers.  Howard stays with the Wizards for four more years after that with little team success.  Since then Howard has played on contender after contender (Dallas, Denver, Houston, Orlando, Portland, Miami) without winning the big one.  He is seemingly only hanging around to win a title, and this year may be his last shot with Miami.  However, now that Chris Bosh is injured that is looking less likely.  Coincidence?

The Fab Five were supposed to win several NCAA titles, and Chris Webber, Jalen Rose and Juwan Howard seemed destined to dominate the NBA.  Despite great personal success, and some near misses every member of the Fab Five has failed in their championship quest.  Juwan Howard is the last one left, and he doesn't have much more time.  Something tells me that as long as he is in the NBA, the Curse of the Fab Five will continue to ruin the chances of whatever team he is on.   

1 comment:

  1. Sacramentao got royally screwed in 1999 I believe w/Webber. Earl Hebner was the ref under the basket. Somewhere he and Tim Donaghy are laughing it up sharing a cigar.