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Bob Knight on the Fab Five: ‘They never won anything’

Feb 1, 2013, 5:42 PM EDT


With a top-3 matchup headlining Saturday’s games, legendary Indiana head coach Bob Knight took a shot at top-ranked Michigan. Well, not this year’s team … he went back 20 years.

Michigan’s Fab Five is one of the most famous teams in college basketball history, and until this week, the 1992-1993 edition of the Fab Five was the last Michigan team to be ranked No. 1 in the nation.

The Fab Five made it to consecutive Final Fours, which were later vacated, and featured future top pick, Chris Webber. For all the publicity they got (and still get) Knight isn’t impressed and shared his views Thursday night, as’s Nick Baumgardner posted Knight’s comments from ESPN’s broadcast of the Arkansas-Alabama game.

“I’m not sure what the Fab Five was,” said Knight. “They never won anything.

“They never won a championship, they didn’t get anywhere, they got beat.”

Despite the Fab Five — Webber, Jalen Rose, Juwan Howard, Jimmy King, and Ray Jackson — lack of championship banners, they were trendsetters during their time in Ann Arbor, and are still talked about year after year, being compared to other top recruiting classes.

Knight, who won three national titles in his Hall of Fame career, feels the adjective before ‘Five’ is a bit generous.

“Fab indicates, to me, that you’ve won something,” Knight added. “I’ve never been able to understand what ‘Fab’ was. It wasn’t championships, I always knew that.”

Indiana and Michigan tip at 9 p.m. in Bloomington.

Terrence is also the lead writer at and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne

  1. datdangdrewdundunituhgin - Feb 1, 2013 at 6:39 PM

    sounds like bobby needs his applesauce and a nap. back-to-back final four appearances as freshman/sophomores is impressive no matter the outcome. the went through a buzzsaw to get there in year one. it’s just his opinion, it won’t diminish their accomplishments or their mark on history.

    • thebadguyswon - Feb 1, 2013 at 9:04 PM

      What mark on history? They aren’t in any history books. They are a legend in the sports media’s minds.

    • rich859 - Feb 2, 2013 at 12:14 PM

      Capitalization is a wonderful thing.

  2. mrlaloosh - Feb 1, 2013 at 7:06 PM

    Only accomplishment Webber ever made was being an idiot and calling a time out they didn’t have.
    Dumb Five, more like it.

  3. philliesblow - Feb 1, 2013 at 7:13 PM

    “Despite the Fab Five — Webber, Jalen Rose, Juwan Howard, Jimmy Smith, and Ray Jackson — lack of championship banners….”

    It was Jimmy King. Never heard of Jimmy Smith.

  4. scoregasmic - Feb 1, 2013 at 7:27 PM

    He’s right though, Kentucky won the National Championship with a bunch of freshman

  5. barnesaintnoble - Feb 1, 2013 at 9:00 PM

    The bald heads. The black socks and shoes. The long shorts. Their general on court demeanor. They didn’t win anything on the court, that’s true. They changed the game culturally and that is something I don’t expect Bobby Knight to understand.

    • thebadguyswon - Feb 1, 2013 at 9:03 PM

      Whoopie – they won the NCAA hoops fashionista/prima dona award. Congrats.

    • longtallsam - Feb 5, 2013 at 8:14 PM

      Yeah, that’s something to really be proud of! They should have been sent back to the locker room the first time they came on court with those rediculous baggy shorts hanging down around their ankles. And Jalen Rose never dribbled the ball up court without palming it.

  6. thebadguyswon - Feb 1, 2013 at 9:02 PM

    DUKE baby. All day.

  7. Jeff - Feb 1, 2013 at 9:12 PM

    Gotta love Knight for telling it like it is.

  8. nawlinsmitty - Feb 2, 2013 at 12:46 AM

    The Fake Five maybe.

  9. cranespy - Feb 2, 2013 at 6:26 AM

    I have wondered the same thing for years…….and now to mane matters worse we have to endure Jalen Rose and his color commentary of both the college and professional game. With so many quality talking heads such as Jay Williams among others, we instead have to endure Jalens blather… always sounds like his mouth is full of spit. And that ever present grin,…….I turn the sound off whenever he begins that blather,

  10. rdav29 - Feb 2, 2013 at 7:25 AM

    Get off my lawn, said Bobby

  11. stinkythumbs - Feb 2, 2013 at 7:54 AM

    F Bob Knight.

  12. datdangdrewdundunituhgin - Feb 2, 2013 at 10:22 AM

    “What mark on history? They aren’t in any history books. They are a legend in the sports media’s minds”

    i’m not part of sports media. i remember them. i think you sound very jealous that even a team that didn’t win anything is remembered over a decade later. the fab five’s fingerprints are all over the current college hoop culture and beyond. you may not have like them personally, but to deny their mark on the history of the game is weapons-grade ignorant.

    • dexterismyhero - Feb 4, 2013 at 12:29 PM

      Weapons grade ignorant? They couldn’t even win the Big 10 those years!

      Then they get everything vacated because they took cash.

      They were and still are frauds.

  13. thebadguyswon - Feb 2, 2013 at 10:44 AM

    Jealous huh? I watched my Blue Devils absolutely own the FRAUD FIVE in the second half in 92. There was nothing to be jealous of. They were just another good team that didn’t win it all.

  14. wildcatvikingsguy - Feb 2, 2013 at 11:52 AM

    They marked a fundamentally new approach to how college basketball teams are put together. To ignore their impact because they didn’t win a championship is beyond stupid.

  15. datdangdrewdundunituhgin - Feb 2, 2013 at 12:27 PM

    they were a very good team that didn’t win it all. my initial point is to call them irrelevant, as you did in so many words, is folly. it’s easier for you if they are failures because it makes you feel better about your own life. but they weren’t failures. not by a long shot! i enjoyed those duke teams of that era. bobby hurley was one of the greatest PG i’ve ever seen. but in the end, duke got the trophy and the championship (well deserved, i’ll add), and UofM got the greater impact on hoop culture. so in a way i can understand your ire for them.

  16. surly1n1nd1anapol1s - Feb 2, 2013 at 2:42 PM

    Being paid under the table is not a new way to put a team together fool.

  17. wildcatvikingsguy - Feb 3, 2013 at 3:14 AM

    Yes because only a select few teams use shady tactics to get recruits. What a joke, they’re just one of the few to get caught

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