Chris Webber is a Hall of Fame finalist again, and he’ll likely get the call this time because of the Hall’s recent move to include more basketball players alongside Guys Jerry Colangelo Likes and Has Also Made Money With.
Webber should have been earlier, first chance, because holy cow, what a player.
The NBA kept its appreciation for Chris at arm’s length to an annoying degree during his active career, and in the winters since, we’ve just as badly whiffed and severely underreported just how calamitous his own injuries were. Chris Webber made five All-Star teams, man.
Even the mark he’s best known for, spearheading the Sacramento rush after initially demurring, lost its reward when we were denied an All-Star Game at the fin de siècle due to the NBA’s owner lockout.
In 1999, a pissed-off Webber averaged 20 points and a league-leading 13 rebounds per game, he blocked 2.1 shots a game and dished 4.1 assists while nabbing 1.7 steals. His turnover rate was appreciatively minuscule considering Webber’s space alongside alongside puckish rookie Jason Williams — a spirit so lost that he’d recently been asked to leave the University of Florida campus.
The Kings ran, they sure did, but Rick Adelman’s league-leading 96 possessions per game in 1999 runs just a stride below of the current Sacramento squad – this year’s Kings play at 98 per, good for the NBA’s fourth-slowest in 2017-18.
When Sacramento won four of five games down the stretch of the 1999 regular season with Webber sidelined, victories securing the team a rare playoff berth, the snorts from the unimpressed were immediate. You’d have to wonder if the coaches would have seen to include him even if there had been an All-Star Game that year.