Kings Legend & Hall of Famer Chris Webber Joins The Jason Ross & Doug Christie Show
Former Sacramento Kings forward and recently named member of the 2021 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame class Chris Webber joined The Jason Ross & Doug Christie Show on Friday afternoon to discuss his induction into the Hall of Fame, what his time with the Kings franchise meant to him and much more.
After eight years of waiting, Chris Webber is going to be a member of the Hall of Fame.
“I tell you what, it’s crazy. I think that that’s the first time that I have heard it said in that type of way,” Webber said on becoming a referred to as a Hall of Famer.
On if he ever dreamed of hearing his name called for the Hall of Fame, Webber said that he didn’t dream of donning the orange jacket during a storied career.
“You dream of playing for college, then playing in the the NBA, you dream about playing in the All-Star game, you dream about a championship, then that’s pretty much the end of it. Who has the right to dream about the Hall? So I never thought about that. I dreamed about being those players, Magic (Johnson), Isiah (Thomas), (Larry) Bird and I guess you dreamed about being in the hall that way, but it’s not something that you ever thought of.”
Webber came into his own as a pro in Sacramento under fellow 2021 Hall of Fame inductee head coach Rick Adelman, putting himself on the map as one of the top talents in the NBA.
On playing for Adelman and the Kings, Webber states that the Kings were a driving force behind his success as a professional basketball player.
“It’s crazy, being from Detroit through my high school and college career, then having it all together with (Doug Christie) as a teammate, Vlade (Divac), Peja (Stojakovic), J-Will (Jason Williams), (Mike) Bibby, Bobby Jackson, Scot Pollard, (Brad) Miller, everybody that we played with. It really came together there because I just think you know, with coach (Pete) Carrill, and of course coach Adelman, the style that we played with the personality and temperament of our team, the fact that we were unselfish and that we loved each other, to me, that’s what I’m going into the hall thinking about–you guys, very honestly. The fact that it was the best time of my life for basketball. It was the best time in the locker room and the best time on the court.”
Webber was traded from Washington to Sacramento in May of 1998. When he arrived in California, the talented forward thought that his career could be coming to a close at the age of 25.
Head coach Rick Adelman pulled a distraught Webber aside in his early days with the team and “made him a King after his first practice.
“When I got there, one of the first conversations that I had was with Rick Adelman and it was before a practice. He understood that I didn’t want to be there, I made it very clear because I thought that a trade could happen in between, and I thought that it was going to be to the Lakers. So, it didn’t happen and I remember coach just bringing me into his office and he disarmed me. I mean, I was a King after our first practice because he said to me, ‘I understand, I don’t care about what happens before or after. You’ve got a clean slate here, and we really, really want you.’ And what could you say after that? I knew after the first practice. I tried to fight it in my head, but I was watching our game against San Antonio, the first game that we ever played together, and I knew right then. You could tell right then.”
Over his seven seasons with the team, Sacramento came close to winning a championship in 2002 and also had strong teams in 2003 and 2004 that could have won it with the amount of talent that was staffed on the roster.
On how he deals with the pain of missing that ultimate goal, Webber says that he views the pain as a positive.
“It hasn’t left me. I don’t necessarily want it to leave, because one: we earned that pain. I think that’s cool. I think that’s like being in the war and you have a hell of a scar to show how you barely came out alive,” Webber said on the pain of missing out on a championship during his time in Sacramento.
If one thing is certain, its this: Sacramento Kings fans love Chris Webber. To end the interview, Webber made it clear that the love goes both ways–and that he’s taking all of the Sacramento faithful into the Hall of Fame with him.
“I want the people of Sacramento to know that I’m taking all of you in there with me. It’s because I know what the city meant to me. There’s no way to show it because I don’t have that championship, but this is the only way that I can show it. I definitely hope through the excitement that I have, maybe the stories that I tell when it’s my time to say a little something up there, that I can let the world know that we didn’t win one, but Sacramento is still the most special place. We got the most heart…We did the damn thing there. That place definitely means the world to me.”
To listen to the entire interview with Sacramento Kings legend Chris Webber, click the “play” button on the audio file located at the top of this page.
For full episodes of The Jason Ross & Doug Christie Show, click here.