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Hall of Webb

Class is in session for those unaware of Webber’s Hall of Fame career.

Header by Mars Robinson

The Hall has yet to come knocking for Chris Webber, a basketball legend in his own right. Webber, who hails from Detroit, Michigan, attended the University of Michigan after leading his High School to three straight title games. His senior year he averaged 29.4 PPG & 13 RPG leading to him being named Michigan’s Mr. Basketball and the 90'-91' National High School player of the year. He was named MVP in both the McDonald’s and Dapper Dan All-Star games.

“C-Webb” played at Michigan for two years and was a member of the Legendary “Fab Five”. The Fab Five which also included future NBA stars Juwan Howard and Jalen Rose, took Michigan to two NCAA Championship games, losing both. The second championship loss has followed Webber for his entire life. On April 5, 1993 against UNC, Michigan was down 73-71 and due to the suffocating defense from Coach Roy’s squad, Webber would call a timeout when Michigan didn’t have any.

Regardless of how his College career ended, Webber was an absolute monster at Michigan his two years. With combined averages of 17.4 PPG & 10.0 RPG on 58% shooting from the field. Webber would end his collegiate career as a first team All-American selection and a finalist for the John R. Wooden Award and Naismith College Player of the Year.

After a stellar two years at college, Webber entered the 93' NBA Draft and was drafted number one overall by the Orlando Magic. He was then traded to Golden State for the third overall pick Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway. Webber made a huge splash in his Rookie year with the Warriors, he averaged 17.5 PPG and 9.1 RPG on 55% shooting from the field, leading GS to the playoffs where they were swept by Charles Barkley and the Suns.

After his rookie year, ongoing tension with HC Don Nelson over Webber’s preferred play style and position would lead to GS trading Chris to the then “Washington Bullets” (renamed “Wizards” in 97') where he teamed up with college teammate and friend Juwan Howard. Over the next three years (95'-98') Webber balled out in Washington with combined averages of 21.4 PPG & 9.2 RPG this brought along his first All Star appearance (97') and another playoff trip in the same season.

By this time, Webber had solidified himself as one of the best young Power Forwards in the NBA, and with his unique ability to both handle and pass the ball being at 6'10", he was only going to get better. But finding a home was the only thing holding C-Webb back, and when rumours of him being traded to Sacramento took off, he was skeptical considering how awful they were. Now mind you, in his Rookie year with the Warriors he played an important role in getting them back in the playoffs and with the Wizards, he lead them back to the playoffs for the first time in NINE years. Seeing a pattern? Yeah, me too.

On May 14, 1998, Webber was traded to the Sacramento Kings for Mitch Richmond and Otis Thorpe. Webber was then paired with Center Vlade Divac which was a blessing for Chris who loved to strictly play the “Four” position. The Kings who missed the playoffs the year prior IMMEDIATELY went back once Webb got there. In his first year in Sacramento, Webber averaged a smooth 20.0 PPG to go along with a league leading 13.0 RPG. That 99' season was just what Chris needed, because from 00'-03' he became more than just a household name in Sacramento.

Under the guidance from HC Rick Adelman, everything clicked for Webber. He made four consecutive All Star games including being the starting Power Forward for the 01' All Star game. Webber averaged 24.5 PPG & 10.5 RPG (00').

Webber was named cover athlete of NBA Jam 2000 before the 99'-00' season.

He followed up that season with his best season ever (27.1 PPG & 11.1 RPG) in which he finished fourth in MVP voting (01'). During this time the Kings would develop a heated playoff rivalry with the Kobe/Shaq Lakers who was responsible for their recent playoff eliminations. The Kings peaked as a team in the 02' season however, and with Webber leading the way with averages of 24.5 PPG & 10.1 RPG. Webb led the Kings past the Jazz and Mavericks, reaching the Western Conference Finals in a matchup against the Lakers.

Now Webber’s struggles with the Lakers are reminiscent of Jordan’s struggles with the Pistons. Eventually, MJ got past Detroit and captured his first ring. Webber would be looking for something similar as the Kings and Lakers battled for seven games where the Lakers and then referee Dick Bavetta proved to be too much. Nevertheless, Webber and the Kings stayed on the hunt to eventually compete for a title. In the 02'-03' season, Webber averaged another Double Double with 23.0 PPG & 10.5 RPG. He made the All Star team one last time which he missed due to injury. Later in the playoffs, Chris would suffer a devastating knee injury that ended the Kings playoff run and would ultimately end their title aspirations.

After having microfracture surgery, Webber’s numbers dipped and by 2007, he was a shell of himself. You truly hate to see great basketball players primes and careers be slowed down because of injury. But unfortunately, that’s the game. And if you’ve ever seen “The Wire” then you know what I’m getting at.

  • 5× NBA All-Star (1997, 2000–2003)
  • All-NBA First Team (2001)
  • 3× All-NBA Second Team (1999, 2002, 2003)
  • All-NBA Third Team (2000)
  • NBA Rookie of the Year (1994)
  • NBA All-Rookie First Team (1994)
  • NBA rebounding leader (1999)
  • #4 jersey retired by Sacramento Kings
  • Consensus first-team All-American (1993)
  • USBWA National Freshman of the Year (1992)
  • Naismith Prep Player of the Year (1991)
  • 2× First-team Parade All-American (1990, 1991)
  • McDonald’s All-American Co-MVP (1991)
  • Mr. Basketball of Michigan (1991)
  • Mr. Basketball USA (1991)

Points 17,182 (20.7 PPG)

Rebounds 8,124 (9.8 RPG)

Assists 3,526 (4.2 APG)

No matter what way you look at it, or how you slice it. The numbers and accolades above you are easily Hall of Fame worthy. Why Webber has been left out for so long? I’m as curious as the next person. But this is strictly for the ones who hear him on NBA broadcasts and cast him off as a former “weak” player turned analyst.

Webber was a dog, and the stats show it.

This, shows it as well.

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Original reporting and curated sports data journalism. Actively looking for additional writers.

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Mars Robinson

Mars Robinson

Freelance NBA writer and host of NBA podcast “No Bias” Twitter: @marsjoint

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