FAB 5IVE: Top 5 Ways They Changed the Game
Posted on January 21, 2014
The Fab 5 took the basketball world by storm, the Michigan 5 of Jalen Rose, Chris Webber, Juwan Howard, Jimmy King and Ray Jackson immediately made a ripple effect on the entire game. Never had 5 freshmen graced a college basketball court in a starting line-up, let alone reach the iconic state, pop culture phenomenon, and success that the 5 were able to achieve. Check out our top 5 things these guys brought to the game of basketball.
#5. Baggy Shorts
“I picked out a nice big pair, but the problem, they were for Chip Armer. They had a number 43 on them.” The problem was Jalen Rose was a skinny kid coming out of HS. The Fab 5 were tired of the tight shorts and wanted to cover some knees with their threads. Coach Fischer allowed them to wear them if they kept winning. And the Fab 5 came through. We are forever in debt to the Fab 5 for sparing us seeing players in glorified booty shorts. (No offense to the old schoolers who balled in them, we’re sure you looked good in them.)
#4 Tall Black Socks
The Fab 5 rocked the black socks. It was their signature, the identifier of the group. Now we see the sock game exploding with stripes, designs and various combinations, but it all comes back to the 5. This was more than just a fashion statement for the 5 though, it was a way of cementing their status as here to stay. The socks were their way of saying we are different, and we are here to stay.
This may have gotten the 5 in he most trouble, but it gave them a huge advantage on the court. This made the alumni the most upset, even to the point of racially driven hate mail, but trash talking was a key part of getting in a players head for the 5. Making them think about your words and not the game. Jalen was the master of this, “Trash talking was 100% of who I was, on every level. I would do research on people, and say nasty things to them based on that research. I was a student of trash talking.”
#2. Young Phenoms
From LeBron to Kobe, even to the 1-year college rule for the NBA. When 5 freshmen walked on out on that court an already young phenom crazed nation grew exponentially. Now you could argue that Kareem Abdul-Jabar came before them as young phenoms in the game, but no one did it like the 5. This created an environment where young talented players could reach higher places faster and more easily. Without the Fab 5 we may never have seen a Kobe or LeBron given the chance right away in the league, and with this came the 1-year requirement by the NBA. We now see freshman playing often and a sport where seniors are an oddity. Any time you can influence a regulation because of your presence, you have done something major.
The 5 brought swagger to the court. In a sport where being confident that you were the best and showing it was not accepted, the Fab 5 stayed true to themselves. They talked the talk and walked the walk. Although they never were able to bring home that championship, the amount of success the 5 had in a short time together is something we may not see again for a long time, but more importantly the way they carried themselves may never be matched again.
Got some extra time? Check out the 30for30 ESPN documentary on The Fab Five HERE
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