Chris Webber may be most known for his untimely timeout snafu during the 1993 NCAA men’s basketball championship game, or maybe it’s his four straight NBA All-Star appearances with the Sacramento Kings from 2000 to 2003. Perhaps his days with the Michigan men’s basketball team’s “Fab Five” prior to the title game are his everlasting legacy or maybe it’s his lengthy ban from the program that lasted until 2013.
During his prime NBA days, C-Webb‘s Kings came closer than anybody to ending the Los Angeles Lakers dynasty of Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal and head coach Phil Jackson in the early 2000s, so for some millennials, or the optimist crowd, that’s how they’ll remember Webber best. Once this weekend is through, though, he can be called a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame.
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The 48-year-old Detroit, Michigan native is among a slew of former NBA and WNBA players, coaches and other figures who will be officially enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Saturday, September 11, 2021, in Springfield, Massachusetts. While Webber’s most memorable days may not have come in the Bay Area, he still clearly holds his time with the Dubs close to his heart.
Webber: ‘I Loved My Time in Golden State. … I Didn’t Want to Leave’
“I loved my time in Golden State. I think the league was changing again. It was a difference at that time from old-school coaching and what you see now. I was part of that transition as well,” the five-time All-Pro player said. “It was fun to play point forward, but at that time, the league didn’t understand (Warriors coach Don Nelson). They didn’t understand me. Even though I won Rookie of the Year, we were criticized for it. It’s just funny now looking back, and I was a part of change. I have to look back at it. The backlash we got for trying to be that change.”
In his lone full season with the organization, he averaged 17.5 points, 9.1 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game. He also posted what would be career-bests across his 15-season journey in field goal percentage (55.2%), offensive rebounds (4.0) and blocks per game (2.2), while starting and playing in a career-high 76 contests.
With a young roster – only Chris Mullin had more than five years of NBA experience – Webber, Mullin and second-year guard Latrell Sprewell among others led the Dubs to the postseason with a 50-32 record. Golden State was swept by Charles Barkley and the Phoenix Suns, Webber was traded to the Washington Bullets in the off-season and the franchise wouldn’t make the playoffs again until the Stephen Jackson and Monta Ellis days of 2007, when Nelson was ironically back with the team starting his second stint as the head coach.
“I remember just following (Mullin), doing everything that he did. I love Golden State, the Bay, and winning Rookie of the Year was awesome,” Webber told Charania. “I didn’t want to leave Golden State, but my contract had an out after the first year. That was great for me financially. But it’s not necessarily what Nelly appreciated. (Webber signed a 15-year, $74 million deal as a rookie but had a player option on his contract for the second season, which he exercised to become a free agent.)”
C-Webb spent the next 13 years with the Washington Bullets/Wizards, Kings, Philadelphia 76ers and Detroit Pistons, before signing as a free agent with Golden State in January 2008 and suiting up for nine final NBA games.
Former Warriors Head Coach Also Getting Inducted
Only one year following Webber’s initial departure from the Bay Area and the season after Nelson’s 1995 resignation as head coach, the Dubs brought in NBA champion Rick Adelman to lead the club. Adelman’s Portland Trail Blazers won a title in 1990 over Chuck Daly’s “Bad Boys” Pistons, but then fell to Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls in 1992.
During Adelman’s two seasons with the Warriors, the team went 66-98, and the .402 winning percentage was the lowest of any of his five NBA head coaching gigs. Adelman was fired from the Warriors in April 1997 and hired to be the Kings next leader in September 1998.
All of Webber’s seven seasons with Sacramento were spent playing under Adelman, as the 75-year-old Hall of Fame coach earned 395 of his 1,042 victories with the Kings. Adelman is the ninth-winningest coach in NBA history and will be inducted on Saturday as well.