New Bedford, MA > Baseball
Webber played the majority of his career in the Western Conference that was just a breeding ground for the best power forwards in basketball. Six of his first ten years (before the knee injury) he played in the West, as a rookie with Golden State and then most successfully with the Sacramento Kings. Night in and night out he put up monster numbers while facing off against the likes of Karl Malone, Charles Barkley, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Rasheed Wallace, Dirk Nowitzki, Elton Brand, and on and on. Webber was right at the top of that list with those current and future Hall of Famers. This poses the question.
Is Chris Webber a Hall of Famer?
I am a huge stat guy. Maybe I take them into account more than I should, but some numbers simply can’t be ignored. You’ve all seen this before by now as any article about Webber is mentioning it. He is one of just 6 players in NBA history to average 20 points, 9 rebounds, and 4 assists, along with Elgin Baylor, Wilt Chamberlain, Billy Cunningham, Larry Bird, (all in the Hall of Fame), and current star Kevin Garnett.
Career averages: 20.7 pts., 9.8 reb., 4.2 asts.
How incredible is that? Look at the company he’s sharing. Only 4 players have finished their careers with those kinds of numbers. Does it get a whole lot more exclusive than that? If you weren’t sure whether C-Webb should be in Springfield, those numbers are pretty convincing. Some would argue about team success, and how truly great players make everyone else around them that much better. Webber turned around 3 franchises in a row. Golden State had 34 wins the year before trading on draft day for Webber, then had 50 in his rookie year, returning to the playoffs. In fact his rookie year, 93-94 was the last time the team hit the 50 win plateau. The Washington Bullets were in the mist of a long playoff drought, but in his 3rd season with the team (96-97) he led the team in points and rebounds (over 20 & 10) and back to the post season for the first time since 1987-1988. Then perhaps his greatest turn around was with the Sacramento Kings.
The Kings had made the playoffs once from 86-87 to 97-98. Immediately the deal to send Mitch Richmond and Otis Thorpe to Washington for Webber paid dividends. The team made the playoffs in the West each and every year he was in the state capitol. Although he never advanced to the NBA Finals he did lead the Kings to a franchise record 61 wins in 2001-2002 where they lost in 7 to the eventual champion Los Angeles Lakers squad. The Kings had a 3-2 lead in the series just to see it slip away. I’ll give them the title had they gotten by LA seeing as how the Lakers walked past the Nets in a clean sweep. That was the closest Webber ever got to winning the championship in the NBA.
Obviously treat the criteria loosely as I’m not expecting that many of your readers have had a boyfriend cheat on you; feel free to substitute with girlfriend when necessary. But try it, because chances are that Wendy from Accounts payable or Joyce at the reception desk will be taking home the prize pool of money.
Now I still haven’t released my bracket because I’m waiting on the winner of tonight’s ever-important, high impact Play-in game that could change the outlook of brackets nationwide. Hey, if Coppin State wins, I may ride them the Final Four. If not, well then I’d say North Carolina should advance to the field of 32 with ease.
But for now, below are some thoughts on top of Keefe’s that I’ve had while perusing all four regions endlessly over the past couple days.
- As Keefe pointed out, it’s disappointing that USC and Kansas State are paired up in the 1st round. I understand the excitement of showcasing two of the top freshman in the nation, but these are two teams who could arguably make a run through the tournament together. I like USC here because Tim Floyd will throw a weird D at Beasley and Mayo will take over; plus K-State has been sliding as of late.
- The winner of the aforementioned freshman showcase most likely faces Wisconsin, another bummer. The Badgers are deep and loaded with Brian Butch as the big man leading the way. But again, I like USC to make a run here, they’re battle tested and could go deep.
- Clemson-Villanova is the second 1st round matchup I hate. ‘Nova could be a surprising but I also like how well Clemson has played as of late. Unfortunately, one will be gone early.
- Tyler Hansborough could face three straight opponents with top notch big men in Indiana (DJ White), Notre Dame (Luke Harangody) and Louisville (David Padgett). If he leads UNC through that murderer’s row, then I may finally warm up to the kid.
- Along those lines, UNC faces the toughest route to title town. UCLA has the easiest. Memphis will be the first 1-seed to fall.
- Get off the bandwagon all you Georgia fans. They will lose in the 1st round to Xavier, which is poised to make a run to the Sweet 16. I have them eventually losing to West Virginia (sorry, Rich), who will take out Duke to punch their ticket to the Elite 8 against UCLA.
My upset special is Davidson, twice in a row.
- Look for Stephen Curry & Co. to clean out Gonzaga, who comes in with less fanfare than ever this year. Then it’s on to Georgetown, who I have found to be overrated all season long. They have gotten zero production off the bench and if Davidson can prevent them from getting off 3’s, they could make it 24 consecutive wins.
I’ll have my finalized bracket picks in tomorrow. Hope you enjoyed this for now.
When Green could not crack the lineup with the young Timberwolves I saw that as a horrible sign for his NBA prospects. What’s next for this kid? Maybe this will motivate him to work harder. That had always been the knock against him. In the off season he could join a team where he might fit in, and be back in the league. You’ve seen guys who declare for the draft, don’t get picked, and then bounce around other organization and finally reach their goals. But how many guys are in the league so young, have mild success (I’ll say winning a dunk contest, and averaging 10+ for a season is mild success), and then get waived come back and make it? It’s going to be tough, but with all that talent some team will likely take a chance. The question remains will Green make the most of that chance?
If a team does not go after Green, like the 17 franchises picking ahead of Boston back in 2005, what are his options? I hear Greece is nice this time of year. He may want to start at lower levels of European ball. And how would his game correlate over seas? It’s going to be difficult. I think his best bet would be to join the And 1 Mix Tape Tour. I bet Green is better than the Helicopter. And 1 and Green would be the perfect marriage. Green gives them a little more basketball creditability, while And 1 give Green a place to play and some sneakers. Make it happen And 1. For Gerald Green maybe all is not lost, his former teammate Rafer Alston (Skip to my Lou) made a nice career for himself after playing street ball. Something to think about.
In the words of the great Jerry Seinfeld after George Costanza told him all his deep dark secrets and everything he was capable of, “good luck with all that.” It was an episode in which Jerry had become way to emotional and affectionate, and George “scared him straight.” That phrase became one of my all time favorites. I use it 5-10 times in a given week. You say “good luck,” but its in regard to an impossible situation, like thank God I don’t have to deal with (insert your problem here). So without further ado I would like to “wish” the following people, places, and things, a warm “good luck.”
To Aaron Rodgers for taking over as starting QB in Green Bay for Brett “I wouldn’t be surprised if they waived the 5 year rule to induct players in the Hall of Fame, because of how much everyone is in love with him” Favre. But take solace in the fact that Dan Marino was replaced in Miami… by Jay Fielder, Damon Huard, Ray Lucas, Brian Griese, A.J. Feely, Sage Rosenfels, Gus Frerotte, Daunte Culpepper, Joey Harrington, Cleo Lemon, Trent Green, and John Beck. Oh yeah and Favre broke all of Marino’s records, won a Super Bowl, and is the only attraction in Green Bay. Good luck with all that.
To the Oakland Raiders for spending $105 million on 2 players coming off knee surgeries. Javon Walker and Tommy Kelly missed a combined 17 games last season, and you want to pay them 105 million bucks? Good luck with all that.
To the next poor guy who has to fight Anderson Silva. Even if you have body armor, a chain gun, or a light saber, good luck with all that.
To Bill Parcells for coming back and leading the Miami Dolphins from the front office. Trying to get the Fish back to the playoffs? (Scroll up to see QBs they’ve used since Marino.) Well at least their first round pick from last year, Ted Ginn, doesn’t suck. Will they take a return man with the #1 overall this year? Good luck with all that.
To Coco Crisp who thinks he’s battling for the starting centerfield job. It’s hard enough to find a way to start over someone who is better, Jacoby Ellsbury, but to go into spring training with a bum groin and a root canal? That’s brutal. Good luck with all that. (At least he’s got something to fall back on; make sure your sound is on.) http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=155900964
To the Sports Brief with Besse and Keefe for taking nearly 6 months off and then returning to action at the start of 2008. You think retooling with the addition of pictures and polls will make up for the fact that you walked out on all of your fans like Bobby Petrino? Good luck with all that.
Speaking of walking out on your fans, to all the sitcoms returning from the writers strike. Am I the only one who has lost interest in these shows? Good luck with all that.
To the Phoenix Suns trying to host a 1st round playoff series. The Suns are currently just as close to missing out on the postseason as they are to the top spot in the West, which they had at the time of the awful Shaq trade. With the Diesel in the lineup they are 4-5. (Note: when I first wrote this it was prior to their win over the Spurs, and they were 3-5, but I still feel very much the same way.) As soon as the trade happened I went on record and said they would fall out of the top 4, now they might just fall out of the playoffs all together. In the wide open West they were better off with the nucleus from last year’s team, (Nash, Amare, Marion), and if they really wanted to deal Marion get something in return. Top 4 spot in the conference may be a lost cause; they need to work on staying in the top 8. Good luck with all of that.
To Britney Spears… she’s 26 years old right now, if I set the over/under at 27.5 anyone taking the over? Good luck with all of that.