Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: MrMichaelLee and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Redskins and Sports  |  RSS

Webber Isn't The Missing Piece

So, Chris Webber is done in Philadelphia. The 76ers officially bought him out yesterday and about a handful of teams, including his hometown Detroit Pistons, the Los Angeles Lakers, San Antonio Spurs, Miami Heat and possibly the Orlando Magic are reportedly clamoring for his services. The Pistons are said to be the leaders of the pack and the Spurs are arguably his most ideal destination. But let me offer a bit of caution to any team thinking that Webber will be the missing link to a championship - he won't.
That doesn't mean that Webber won't win a championship with the team he joins, it's just that he won't be the person to put them over the hump. This isn't Rasheed Wallace joining the Pistons in 2004 or Clyde Drexler joining the Houston Rockets in 1995. This is a 34-year-old (that will be his age on March 1) forward on his last legs - or is that leg - trying to finish his career with the ring that eluded him at Michigan and throughout his time in the NBA. Webber has the hunger but little else, which might be enough.
During media day last September, Webber spoke of someone who has been anguishing through life in pursuit of that one piece of jewelry. He compared his NBA career to asking someone to marry him 13 times and hearing "No" 13 times. "Like I tell everybody all the time, me and Kevin Garnett talk all the time," Webber said then. "We can say all we want, but Mark Madsen's the man. He has the championship. He's dancing on stage with Shaq. At the end of the day, to me, it's about the ring. That's what I want."
Webber got to the NCAA championship game twice at Michigan and he had his best opportunity for an NBA crown in Sacramento, possibly coming within a Robert Horry three-pointer (Webber probably still replays the image of him futily chasing down Horry) or maybe a Peja Stojakovic airball of getting to the Finals in 2002. But his days of being the first, second or even third option of an offense are over. Webber may still want to start and produce 20 points and 10 rebounds, but while he is just one year removed from those type of numbers, he may should truly take the Madsen approach and seriously ride some coattails. Really. He was fighting for minutes on the worst team in the East.
When the 76ers traded for him in February 2005, I thought he could really make a difference; that he'd be the one player to coexist Allen Iverson. Iverson even thought he was the missing piece. When Webber made his debut as a Sixer, Iverson ran up to him and said, "Let's make history." Now Iverson and Webber are history in Philadelphia, which has nothing to show for the union but one swift five-game playoff appearance and two of the most unceremonious exits any franchise has ever shown two superstar players.
It really is a sad day in Philadelphia. I was there on Tuesday and I swear it was one of the most miserable experiences I've ever had watching a game - and I covered the Hawks! The Wachovia Center was absolutely dead and it will remain awful until they get a nice pick in the draft this summer (hopefully for the sake of Sixers fans, Greg Oden). Philadelphia will surely tank with Webber gone, but not because he's gone (Iverson gets all the credit there).
Webber used to be able to leave a huge hole and a hex on his former teams. What ever happened to Michigan basketball? The Golden State Warriors have yet to recover from his exile more than 12 years ago. It took the Washington Wizards seven years to recover from dealing him. The Sacramento Kings avoided the Curse of Webber and haven't missed the playoffs since he left. Now Webber appears to haunt himself.
Before I end this, let me just say that I've always rooted for Webber. I remember when I was a high school freshman and everybody on my basketball team loved the Fab Five. We wanted to wear those long, baggy shorts, the black shoes. We already wore gold home jerseys and some guys went as far as shaving their heads bald - to be like Webber, not Jordan (Unfortunately, I held onto a high-top fade at the time. Don't ask why). I digress. The point here is that I don't want to kill Webber's dreams, but he might want to take his time making a decision here. This is really his last shot.
"I'm looking for the movie ending," Webber said last September. He won't get it unless he decides to be Cuba Gooding instead of Denzel Washington.

By Michael Lee  |  January 12, 2007; 1:44 PM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Trading Steve Blake is Costly
Next: More weather no Wiz for IC

Comments

Ivan and Michael thanks for the great coverage. I'm a die hard College Hoops fan excited to have something to follow at the pro level. I think Gil is a dynamo and appreciate Ernie G.'s foresight when we gobbled up 4 years ago.

Though I'm not a believer in pacing a season (I think you gotta win them all). I think the Wiz would be in a much better position by staying at 5 as opposed to winning their Division (getting a 7 gamer vs. a dangerous team from the Central Conference). I'm not saying a Division Title wouldn't be sweet, but depth in the playoffs has to be the top priority.

What are your thoughts?

Posted by: bbtp89854726 | January 12, 2007 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Does Chris Webber deserve a movie ending? Me thinks not. Among the wonderful scenes that Webber already acted/directed himself in:

(1) Taking illicit money from a Michigan booster, tainting all of the accomplishments of not just Webber or the rest of the Fab 5, but anyone who played in any collegiate game where Webber played a single minute.

2) Lying about it to an F'ing GRAND JURY. (say that again to yourself)

3) Blowing Michigan's championship chance by calling a timeout he didn't have. (and let's not forget when he did the same thing in Washington, and he and Juwan chuckled as it cost them an opportunity to win the game)

4) Last but not least, being caught by the police puffing in his Navigator, and his childlike refusal to deal with it like a man.

Thanks for the memories. Chris Webber is a bum even when he puts up 20/10.

Posted by: Double 0 Zero | January 12, 2007 3:09 PM | Report abuse

I would respect Webber more if he went to a team where he could play a key role and that team failed to win a title than if he pulled the Gary Payton special and rode the coattails of other players to get a ring.

Posted by: Sean | January 12, 2007 3:10 PM | Report abuse

and lets not forget on when webber got busted he was on the way to practice

Posted by: honest abe | January 12, 2007 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, honest Abe, I forgot - I think Webber was crusing around the desolate area (by the old arena) in Landover.

Posted by: Double 0 Zero | January 12, 2007 3:19 PM | Report abuse

bbtp89854726, what in the heck kind of rotten seaweed you been smokin?? Purposely lose games so you don't win your division? You gotta metal plate in your head or somethin, cause you must have a screw loose! You gotta win the division and get home court for the playoffs!!!!

As far as CWeb, it just kills me cause I loved the guy when he was here. He seemed to appreciate the history of the game and seemed to truely have a desire to be here his entire career, bring a championship to DC, and retire with his name all over our record books and his jersey retired. He had the charisma, tons of skill, and to see a big man who could run and pass with the ups, grace and power he had was pure joy.

When he was here it was similar to Gil now, as far as the talent and potential, and knowing he was still young and improving. A true superstar on the rise. I used to love the battles back then against Antwan Walker and the Celtics, and remember MJ saying the Bullets were the team of the future!

Unfortunately he got traded to Sactown away from the east coast and didn't see him as much, and he didn't really seem to improve much when he left. Playing in that soft Western conference and the finese offense of the Kings was fun to watch, but he ceased to improve as a player. No more power game, and became a jumpshooter. Knee surgery and age have left him a shell of the player he once was. We got Richmond in return, and we went from a promising young team on the rise to a heap of old players with bad contracts. What could of been we will never know, what a shame.

Posted by: Darnell | January 12, 2007 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Wizards need a 4 or a 5. Etan and Haywood will nerver do. They needed one when they traded my boy Larry Hughes. I really am a Webber fan, but I am not sure his legs can hold up. As good as Arenas is the Wizards will at best go 2 rounds in the EAST.

Posted by: AJ | January 12, 2007 3:28 PM | Report abuse


Darnell, the 5 seed in the East has a good shot at home court advantage in the playoffs. The 4 seed will most likely be the "champion" of the Atlantic division - probably the Nets in my opinion. If the 5th seeded team has a better record, then I'm pretty sure that the 5th seeded team gets home court advantage.

Unless somebody runs away with the Eastern Conference crown, the 5th seed will likely be in a better position to make it to the Eastern Finals than the 2nd or 3rd seed (one tough playoff round vs. two).

Right now, for example, as the 5th seed the Wizards would get the Nets with home court advantage and Cleveland without it. As the 2nd seed, Orlando gets Chicago and then Detroit. Home court advantage in both is definitely a benefit, but doesn't the first scenario sound better on paper?

Posted by: AC | January 12, 2007 3:59 PM | Report abuse

I'd love to have CWebb back for around 5 million a season playing 12 to 18 minutes a game off the bench.

The likely hood of that happening and C accpeting that type of role ...... hmmmmmmmmmm not very likely.

Posted by: dc | January 12, 2007 4:03 PM | Report abuse

As C-Webb said back in the day: "Time out!"

Let that bama get on somewhere else. Les Wiz (nee Lez Boulez) have been burned too many times picking up overpaid, over-the-hill players.

My guess is he'll go to the Lakers before too long.

Posted by: iceberg | January 12, 2007 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Michael, great write up. That answers that question . . .

As far as the 5 goes, Haywood is solid. The Wizards are something like 11-2 with him as a starter and he's averaging close to 9 pts. 9 rebounds a night. I'm not entirely sold on E though (is it a coincidence that the Wizards run coincided with his injury? Just saying . . .). Hopefully Songaila can contribute down the stretch.

Posted by: JP | January 12, 2007 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Webber was a conceited a$$. He never took responsibilty for the things he did. I agree he was long on charisma, but lacking in karma bc of his primma donna attitude. Remember those knife cutting gestures to the throat after a putback dunk the make the score 24 to 22. Nice! Real high class guy he was. He was so gangster too. I used to get a good laugh out of that impersonation.

Webber, you can't always get what you want!

Posted by: Rob P | January 12, 2007 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Nice entry, guys. I agree. I won't go as far as some of what was spewed above, but as hard as I rooted for him back in the day, Chris Webber is star-crossed. His catch-22 is that he only wants to go where he'll be a major contributor. Well, any team needing him to be a major contributor -- especially a starter -- probably isn't good enough to compete for a ring. His only shot is to have that epiphany and to come off the bench for 15-20 mins a game for an already strong team.

If he does end up in Detroit, look for his old buddy Jalen Rose (about to be bought out for the second time in a season!) sign there too.

Posted by: Ben | January 12, 2007 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Oh yeah. Another thought just crossed my mind. Calling out teammates in Sac'twn. I believe Peja was the prime target. Funny, bc Webber was never really the type of player that wanted to take the big shots ala Arenas and he won't go down in history as Chris "Clutch" Webber will he. Better blame someone else then! I would not even put him in the HOF and I hope he doesn't get there.

Karma's a biatch!!!

Posted by: Rob P | January 12, 2007 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Ben, Webber was not star-crossed. He was just lacking in what was needed in the moment. I don't get all the love for a whining multi multi millionaire who had his chances. He could have been a great player, but, in my opinion, he was too impressed with himself and it started with the Fab Five. Maybe he had too much too fast.

By the way, did the Fab Five not have to forfeit all their games while he was there in the record books or am I just making that up. Not being sarcastic, but I believe that is what happened?

Posted by: Rob P | January 12, 2007 6:07 PM | Report abuse

"Webber Isn't The Missing Piece"

Agreed, his best days are behind him for sure. It's becoming a habit now with me agreeing w/Mike's blogs. Hmmmmmmm..... ;)

I like Webber a lot, so I don't know if I agree with some of what the others are posting. You can blame him for being a dumb kid when he was here, but blame Wes, Abe, and Susan O'mally for trading him.

It's not like he went to management and said,"Hey trade me for that old over the hill guy out in Sacramento!"

All I can say about "money" is it makes people do weird things some times(like lying to a grand jury). I'm in real estate and I see it every day. But Double 0 Zero is right, he needed to be a man about it.

C-Webb has a lot in common with Dexter Manley, who hapens to be my all time favorite Redskin. They both got pushed through life just because they could play sports. If it were me I might have done the same thing and taken the money at Michigan.

I honestly don't know.

"bbtp89854726, what in the heck kind of rotten seaweed you been smokin??"

Lol, Darnell! You always make me laugh, I think we've gotta find you a girl or something. ;)

The Wiz cannot go on the road this year and expect to Win games in the playoffs, no matter how bad the East is. Look at thier home/away record.

The playoffs are different....way different. They can go much further with home court, dare I say....the Finals! :)

Still a long season so here's to hoping.

Please go vote for all the Wizards for the 2007 NBA All Star game NOW at:

http://www.nba.com/allstar2007/asb/eng/ballot.html?from=sweeps

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | January 12, 2007 6:37 PM | Report abuse

I just heard on the ESPN radio that the Wizards may be getting KG in a deal. The radio said it was reported in today's Washington Post. I don't see a story on it. Has anyone else heard anything about this?

Posted by: PTP23 | January 12, 2007 6:45 PM | Report abuse

Nice article on Arenas on espn.com. Players state he's the hardest player to guard.

Posted by: PTP23 | January 12, 2007 6:52 PM | Report abuse


There is this Garnett story in the Express:

http://www.readexpress.com/read_freeride/2007/01/swengali_garnett_is_the_only_temptation.php

I wouldn't characterize it as suggesting that a Garnett trade may happen though.

Posted by: AC | January 12, 2007 6:55 PM | Report abuse

PTP23: As much as I luv KG, don't want to mess with the dynamics of the team right now. Let it play itself out with the current cast...unless EG is giving up Donnell Taylor & the rights to John Peter Ramos as the only exhanged parts! LOL!

back on topic: CWebb has charisma & luved his game. Unfortunately he never won anything @ any level & refused to adapt his game for the betterment of the team. Not some1 I want on the Wiz.

Posted by: Victor | January 12, 2007 6:58 PM | Report abuse

This KG stuff is so ridiculous. Even though MN's front office is braindead, even they realize that any KG deal would have to involve both cap relief for Minnesota and a young player who will potentially be an all-star and perhaps a top pick in the draft as well. That's why Chicago, with Deng, Gordon and Tyrus Thomas, is the logical trade partner. The only young allstar/potential allstar players the Wizards have are Arenas and Butler, so one of them would have to be included in a deal. Don't embarrass yourself by mentioning Blatche -- even McHale would not trade one of the best power forwards of all time for a second round pick with potential who is averaging a few minutes a game. Let's try to focus on reality.

Posted by: Joe | January 12, 2007 7:12 PM | Report abuse

I don't want to be a "hater", but you won't see me shedding a tear for Webber.

When ESPN announced that the Bullets had traded for Webber, that was the happiest day for me as a Bullets fan up to that point. But it was all downhill from there.

Webber talks a good game, really tries to come across as a "good guy", but he was a con and a cancer. His poor character in DC has been well documented. On top of that, I do not remember one signature play from him as a Bullet/Wizard. Sure, he was talented and could fill up a boxscore, but he never made the winning plays at the end of the game, was never a go to guy in crunch time.

I also remember him viscously taunting Vin Baker one game when Baker was in Seattle (and his game was in decline) and Webber was in Sacramento in his prime. It was ugly and sad.

Webber's made alot of money from basketball and I say good for him. But as far as not winning a championship? Boo hoo.

Posted by: Wei | January 12, 2007 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Ray, I would never take you for a Webber apologist. Awwww...poor guy, Webber. Had too much including a solid well-to-do family.
Now he is worth what, 150 million? I think I covered the rest of my opinions him.

Posted by: Rob P | January 12, 2007 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Everyone in this blog needs to read about The Chris Webber Foundation and following that get a life!

Posted by: Allen Iverson- | January 12, 2007 11:41 PM | Report abuse

Allen, that's great! Good on him. I would have a foundation too if I made as much money as him. It's no reason to feel sorry for him.

Posted by: Rob P | January 13, 2007 12:24 AM | Report abuse

AI: learn to play th game the right was & maybe STFU while you are @ it. Then you tell us what to do. Otherwise, you are just another CWebb. Has been.

Posted by: Victor | January 13, 2007 12:24 AM | Report abuse

Rob P. and Wei, I couldn't agree more on your postings of Webber. The guy was all style but no substance, especially when needed at crunch time.

It's a shame that will be his legacy b/c as Ray and others have said, he was extremely talented on par w/ any PF in league history but never made anything of it. NOBODY to blame but himself, anything else is just an excuse. Talent squandered, nothing else.

Posted by: Going G.A.G.A. over Gilbert | January 15, 2007 12:01 PM | Report abuse

If I were Detroit I'd keep all my bigs (you cant have too many), but if they have to move one, Dale Davis (Nasi's another 6-10 Poet-type, but I'd take him, too cause you cant have too many bigs) would look awfully good as a member of the Buzz frontcourt. ("e.g., Carlos Boozer's putback of Derek Fisher's 3-point airball tied the score at 111 with 11 seconds left.") And if I were Detroit (Joe D., the Hall of Famer, still not missing a step, take note Isiah), I also wouldn't let the Buzz have DD (C-F 6-11 252 15 years.) Were the Buzz to have gotten C-Webb, they would have become a Conference favorite (as good as the Cavs snatching Gooden, Marshall and/or Hughes.) If you want to compete, you got to make smart, timely moves. Now the Buzz are once again in the middle of the pack. I'm convinced that (medicocrity) is good enough for Abe. Just be good enough so that you don't lose money. Webber may have been aiming at going home all along. I'd feel better knowing that Abe gave EG the green light to try to be as competitive as possible. Now, talk about being a top echelon team in the East is just lip-service. They had a chance (courtesy of AI and Philly's meltdown) to be taken seriously, with an inside as well as an outside scoring presence, possibly even to compete with the premier teams in the West, certainly to match up better with and even dominate the Orlandos, New Jerseys, Chicagos, Clevelands and Detroits in the East. Instead, they sat on a pat hand that's just not good enough.

Posted by: Ray-Ray | January 15, 2007 6:56 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company