If he could do it again, Chris Webber would have gone to Michigan State?

The strong implication of Chris Webber’s comments on this morning’s Dan Patrick Show is that, if he could begin his basketball career again, he would have accepted Tom Izzo’s offer to become a Michigan State Spartan:

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The Fab Five and the Final Four: A Twenty-Year Timeout

Ten Years After was a British blues-rock band centered around guitarist Alvin Lee, who died last month.  Twenty years after his team played in the national championship, Chris Webber, the central figure of Michigan’s Fab Five, hasn’t returned from an infamous timeout that is an inescapable part of his legacy. Tonight, the Wolverines are back in the national championship for the first time in exactly twenty years, and while all five members of the Fab Five will be here in Atlanta tonight, as far as we know, only four of them will be inside the Georgia Dome to watch the game.

Last night, friend-of-the-site Jalen Rose laid out the situation and made a public appeal to C-Webb:

Floyd Mayweather dodges Miguel Cotto’s fists, strip clubs to remain undefeated

After the ponies did their thing on Saturday, it was time for Cinco de Mayweather (plan B), a bout between the undefeated Floyd Mayweather and the then-twice-defeated Miguel Cotto for the latter’s 154-pound belt. The fight went the distance, and at the end of the twelfth round, the judges unanimously declared Mayweather the winner.

I can’t say I disagree with that determination, and it’s the one for which I was rooting, but I thought it was a very close fight, as my live round-by-round evaluation, reproduced below, evidences. The HBO announcers, by contrast, were confident that Mayweather was winning fairly early on and had the thing sewed up by the late rounds.

My general impression was that Cotto, the heavier puncher with the shorter reach, was able to dictate the terms of the fight: close range, with Mayweather backed into a corner or on the ropes. Even if Floyd simply was allowing this to happen, it surprised me, and I didn’t understand why he let it go on for so long. On the other hand, none of Cotto’s hits, including the one that broke Floyd’s nose, seemed to faze Mayweather, and it was Cotto who was staggering a bit in the 12th, not Mayweather. Cotto provided the toughest test for Mayweather of all the opponents I’ve seen.

Some saw it as Mayweather making like Jalen Rose and giving the people what they want, while others simply credited Mayweather’s endurance as a result of a training regimen that began when he opted for a 3:00 am six-mile run instead of a strip club visit in Orlando during the NBA’s All-Star Weekend. Whatever the reason, Mayweather heads into his eighty-seven-day jail sentence on a winning streak.

Round-by-round analysis after the jump…

Smackland podcast: The Jalen Rose Show

Growing up in Michigan, I knew of Jalen Rose as a member of the Fab Five, that faceless monolith of basketball greatness operating out of the east side of the state. Who these guys were wasn’t as important as the fact of their youth and the color of their socks. You knew you were supposed to be able to name them, and that was that. We soon learned to distinguish Chris Webber, though, if not for his timeout, then for his draft position. I remember his #4 Warriors jersey exploding all over the local sporting goods store. I remember it being the first time I ever knew that there was an NBA team called “the Warriors,” also learning that they played in some geographically mystical place called “Golden State.” Understanding these things became less important when he left after his first year for the Washington Bullets (whose geography I only thought I understood until reading a Sports Illustrated for Kids reader poll about new mascots for that team, which suggested “the Presidents” as one of the alternatives). I knew a couple of the other members played in the NBA– that’d be Rose and Juan Howard– and I knew the other two, Jimmy King (who did have limited NBA exposure, Wikipedia tells me as I write now) and Ray Jackson, played in the CBA, which remained popular on the west side of the state until east-side star Isiah Thomas drove it into the ground. Given our instruction as to their greatness, I at first didn’t understand why they weren’t all NBA all stars, but my concern diminished as my escalating interest in the rival Spartans grew and my interest in the NBA decreased.

It therefore was with some surprise that I began to hear Rose making post-playing-career appearances in the national sports media, first (to my ears) on Jim Rome’s radio show, where the two considered each other “brothers in smack” (not a drug reference), and then as an NBA analyst on ESPN. Later, Rose rode the social media wave, positioning himself as an independent online presence through his Twitter feed and interactive website.

I haven’t been a podcast person– until recently, my lifestyle lacked one of the two alternatively necessary elements: a long daily commute or the structure of a single, working person– which is why I didn’t mention Grantland’s podcast section in my initial assessment of that site. Since then, though, I have attempted to integrate podcasts into my regular media consumption, and so far, only one has stuck (although I did check in with The Solid Verbal during the college football season).

When I saw the announcement about the firstsecond episode of the Grantland Network’s “Jalen Rose Show” (the first time it was called that), I didn’t realize it was an actual show or series, and I thought the headline was a reference to Rose’s talkative personality, his ability to carry a segment, a show, a full podcast. Fifteen episodes later, I’m glad I was mistaken.

To give you a flavor of the program, here’s the first of two video clips they have released:

There really isn’t anyone like Rose in sports media today. He is candid, thoughtful, and unintentionally funny. Things he avoid include clichés and directly answering the question asked of him. Keep reading for another video clip…