|NBA draft:|| 1993, 1st round|
Orlando, traded to Golden State
|Pro career:||12 seasons|
|Hall of Fame:|| None|
Mayce Edward Christopher Webber III, better known as Chris Webber (born March 1, 1973 in Detroit, Michigan), is an NBA basketball player, most notably with the Sacramento Kings and currently with the Philadelphia 76ers.
After graduating from Detroit Country Day School (where his number, 44, is retired) and playing for the Yellow Jackets, he went to college at the University of Michigan for two years. While at Michigan, Webber led the group known as the Fab Five, which included himself, Juwan Howard, Jalen Rose, Jimmy King, and Ray Jackson. This group, all of whom entered Michigan as freshmen in the fall of 1991, took the basketball team to the NCAA finals twice. The Fab Five, sporting long, baggy shorts and black shoes, became immensely popular as they were seen as bringing a hip hop flavor to the game. Four of the Fab Five (Webber, Rose, Howard, and King) made the NBA, and three of them (Webber, Rose and Howard) are still playing today.
On April 5, 1993, at Michigan's second consecutive championship game, Webber infamously called a time-out with 11 seconds left in the game when his team, only behind by two points, did not have any remaining, resulting in a technical foul that effectively clinched the game for North Carolina.
Webber was convicted of perjury in 2002. During the trial, he admitted to accepting large amounts of cash from a Michigan booster, Ed Martin, during his college career. This caused the NCAA to strike all of the Wolverines accomplishments from his two seasons (1991-92 and 1992-93) from their official records.
ESPN tried to clear up the ongoing controversy that surrounds the incident. They noted that North Carolina was favored to win, and that Webber still had a dominating game and without him, Michigan would not have even reached the championship.
In spite of ESPN's efforts, it should be noted that Webber has never won a major basketball championship, either in college (despite two trips to the NCAA Championship Game, even if it is now officially recognized that this didn't happen) or in the NBA.
In 1993, Webber was selected first in the NBA Draft by the Orlando Magic, who immediately traded him to the Golden State Warriors in exchange for Anfernee Hardaway and three future first round draft picks.
He had an outstanding first year, averaging 17 points and nine rebounds per game and thus winning the NBA Rookie of the Year Award. He was instrumental in leading the Warriors back into the playoffs. However, he had a long-standing conflict with his coach, Don Nelson. Nelson wanted to make Webber primarily a post player, despite Webber's superb passing ability and good ball handling skills for someone his size at 6'10" (2.08 m) tall. By the 1994 offseason, Nelson felt that he could no longer coach Webber.
Webber was traded in his second year to the Washington Bullets, where he was reunited with his college teammate and friend, Juwan Howard. He spent the next three years with the Bullets (later renamed the Washington Wizards), although in the 1995-96 season injuries limited him to 15 games. Webber rebounded from the injury and was named to his first All-Star team in 1997. In 1997, Webber lead the Bullets into the playoffs for the first time in 9 years, but they were swept by the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls. By 1998, Webber had established himself as a great power forward, but his time in Washington had also worn out.
On May 14, 1998, Webber was traded to the Sacramento Kings for Mitch Richmond and Otis Thorpe. Webber did not want to go to Sacramento, as they were a perennial losing team. Webber even states that he almost did not get on the plane that flew him from his Detroit, Michigan home to Sacramento. His father convinced him otherwise.
When Webber arrived, the Kings also signed center Vlade Divac and drafted point guard Jason Williams. In the 1999 season, The Kings almost upset the veteran Utah Jazz, led by MVP Karl Malone. In years to come, Webber and the Kings became an exciting team, and also NBA title contenders. He was named to the All-Star team in 2000 and 2001 while cementing his status as one of the premier power forwards in the NBA. Webber peaked in the 2000-01 season where he averaged a career-high 27.1 points and 10 rebounds.
On July 27, 2001 Webber signed a $127 million, seven-year contract with the Kings. However, he drew controversy from Sacramento fans through his large salary, frequent injuries, and the team's overall good performance while he was on the bench. However, in 2002, Webber led the Kings a franchise record 61-21. He also made his fourth All Star team. and they made it to the Western Conference Finals, against the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers. The Kings put up a good fight against the Lakers, eventually bowing out in 7 games. It was the high point of Webber's stint in Sacramento.
The next season, Webber put up another superb year, averaging 23 points and 11 rebounds per game. He was cited as a possible MVP candidate, and made his fifth consecutive Allstar team. In a bad sign of what was to come, Webber missed the All Star game with an injured knee. Nevertheless, he returned and the Kings were among the favorites to win the NBA Championship.
In the second game of the 2003 Western Conference Semifinals against the Dallas Mavericks, Webber suffered a career-threatening knee injury that forced him to miss nearly a year of action. After microfracture surgery, he returned for the final 25 games of the 2003-2004 season, but his athletism, agility, and mobility had been visibly diminished. Nevertheless, Webber is still considered one of the better players in the league.
In February 2005, Webber, along with Michael Bradley and Matt Barnes, was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers for power forward Kenny Thomas, forward/center Brian Skinner, and well-known former King Corliss Williamson. Webber took some time to fit in with the 76ers offense, as he was a second scoring option for the first time in his career. However, he did help catapault the Sixers to a berth in the 2005 playoffs, where the Sixers lost to the Detroit Pistons. However, they did not reach the playoffs in 2006, despite Webber putting up a resurgent 20 points and 10 rebounds per game.
On Tuesday, April 18, 2006, he and fellow teammate Allen Iverson were fined for not showing up at the Philadelphia 76ers final home game of the season, despite the fact that both had injuries. One day later, both of them apologized for their actions even thinking it wasnt a big deal.
In 1998, Webber was arrested and charged with assault, resisting arrest, possession of marijuana, driving under the influence of marijuana and five other traffic-related violations after being pulled over for speeding on the way to the practice center at the MCI Center in downtown Washington D.C. Webber pleaded no contest and all charges were eventually dropped.
Later in 1998 during the off-season, while leaving Puerto Rico on a promotional tour for Fila sneakers, Webber paid a $500 fine after U.S. Customs found 11 grams of marijuana in his bag. Soon after Fila dropped Webber as an endorser. Webber sued Fila for wrongful dismissal, but the case was thrown out of court.
In 2002, Webber was charged for lying to a grand jury as part of a larger investigation of misconduct in the University of Michigan's basketball department. Shortly after prosecution witness Ed Martin died, Webber pled guilty to lying about his role in a scandal in which four players, including himself, were accused of accepting money from a school booster while playing for the Michigan Wolverines. Due to that scandal, the Fab Five's accomplishments were removed from the NCAA record books. Webber was suspended by the NBA for a total of eight games. Five of the games were for a unnamed violation of the league substance abuse policies and three of the games for perjury to a grand jury.
Chris Webber is regarded as a good-but-not-quite-great player. His skills include an amazing ability to pass, which is a talent not seen in players that are 6'10". Bill Walton, a Hall of Famer, has said that Webber's passing ability for his size is only rivaled by Magic Johnson. He is also a good post up player, and has always had a respectable jump shot.
In spite of his talent, Webber has yet to lead an NBA championship. The closest he had been to the title was in 2002, when the Lakers defeated the Kings in the Western Conference Finals. Following that series, Webber (along with other Sacramento players) took a lot of scrutiny from the media for not being "clutch". At age 33, and with the 2003 injury that took most of his athleticism, his chances of leading a team to a championship are slim.
To be fair, Webber has always put up good numbers (he averages 21.7 points and 11.3 rebounds for his whole career) and has made teams better wherever he went. The Golden State Warriors have yet to make the playoffs in the 12 years since they traded Webber, and Webber led Washington to their first playoffs since 1989 in 1997. They wouldn't reach the playoffs again until 2005, 7 years after trading Webber. Most notably, Webber was the key figure in turning the Sacramento Kings into an elite team in the NBA. Prior to Webber's arrival in 1998, the Kings made the playoffs only twice (1985 and 1996) since they moved to Sacramento from Kansas City in 1985.
- He was featured on a reality TV show where he pranked several children into thinking they destroyed his NBA Rookie Of The Year trophy.
- He is commonly nicknamed C-Webb, and is sometimes known as Spider and Hot Shot.
- He once dated model Tyra Banks, who was often seen at Kings games.
- ESPN Sportscentury names Chris Webber's illegal timeout at Michigan one of the biggest blunders in college basketball history
- Chris Webber's Official Site
- Chris Webber ? Player profile, statistics, biography, wallpapersde:Chris Webber