Ray: Chris Webber returns to the Warriors tonight and I wanted to get this out there before tip off so I can make this prediction without any assist from hindsight: C-Web is going to be an asset to the 07-08 W’s. Local radio and print media has been split, with a slight edge toward the negative, on the impact that the prodigal son is going to have and I just don’t get it.
As far back as the end of last year’s miracle run through the playoffs I put it out there that #4 would be a prefect fit to for the team as it’s composed right now in the Nellie Ball era (I prefaced my poker table analysis with “Of course, there’s no way in hell this’ll ever happen.”). In limited minutes (under 30/game), he should be able to keep up with just about any center in the league – in this offense, he’s a center – he can hit an open J, and he’s a great passer with a high basketball IQ (inadvertent timeouts not withstanding). And say what you want about his heart, he’s probably still our most creative post player outside of Baron Davis.
That said, I still haven’t forgotten Webber’s role the unfortunate chain of events that ended with us somehow getting Baron Davis for an old Dale Davis, but tarnished my NBA experience in the 90’s a 00’s before last year’s resurrection – for the record, it goes:
1. On Halloween of my freshman year in high school, Nellie trades Mitch Richmond (my favorite player) for holdout Kings rookie Billy Owens, believing that he’s the next Magic Johnson,
2. in ’93 we trade the draft rights to Penny Hardaway (ironically, the other next Magic Johnson), for Chris Webber (who himself has several Magic Johnsoneque traits… Michigan roots, PF with a PG game),
3. Webber chafes at playing center on his way to winning 50 games and ROY,
4. Nellie trades Billy Owens for Rony Seikaly,
5. Webber chafes even more at losing Owens and demands a trade,
6. Nellie trades Webber for Tom Gugliotta,
7. Nellie quits mid year, right before Gugliotta is traded for Donyell Marshall,
8. Marshall suffers through 5 years of bloated expectations and limited results,
9. Donyell is then traded to Utah for Danny “15 rebounds, 5 points and a foul out in 15 minutes” Fortson (Marshall coincidentally finally finds his game in Salt Lake, btw),
10. after a hot start Fortson gets injured and is replaced in the lineup by Antawn “Dunk the freaking ball!!!” Jamison and stews on the bench for 2 more season,
11. Fortson is then traded (with Jamison, ironically) to the Mavricks for Nick Van Exel in a move that was supposed to make up for the Warriors letting Gilbert Arenas get away via free agency (but that’s a whole other chain of misery),
12. after a year of enduring the Nick Van Exel and Speedy Claxton show the W’s trade Nick the quick to Portland for Dale Davis and Dan Dickau prior to the 04-05 season,
13. and finally on February 24, 2005 the basketball gods smile upon the Warriors and Dale Davis and Speedy Claxton are traded to the New Orleans Hornets for BARON DAVIS… and all’s well that ends well… welcome back C-Web! (btw, if you still wanna be a stinker about the who thing, consider this, if the W’s didn’t trade for Baron, they probably would have tanked that year and would have been in position for draft Chris Paul, but we’re gonna keep it positive today. It’s a celebration bitches!)
I won’t argue with you about what C-Webb might or might not be able to do for GSW this year. I don’t believe he can, in any way, hurt the team (unless he calls a timeout in game 7 with no timeouts left and 11 seconds on the clock).
I’m excited to see C-Webb don the GSW colors again. I imagine it’ll be like If I saw present day Ice Cube go on Ellen Degeneres with a Jiffy Lube slick jheri curl circa AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted just to remind mafuckas how bad he used to be!
I think C-Webb’s return to Golden State is significant for two reasons: 1.) Golden State; discounting last year’s win in the first round, has done about as much as C-Webb has in the course of the last 14 years, which is to say, not a whole lot if you count championships as the only true mark of a winner (which, I do) And 2.) Nellie and C-Webb get a glimpse into the past via the present; of what could’ve been with Webb at the helm, had Webb not gotten blue over losing his boy Billy O (for the record Ray, If you get signed by a major and they’re like, “Chee gotta sit this one out,” I expect you to opt out of the contract).
But you are right. Alls well that ends well. I’m back in Cali, and so is C-Webb. I wonder what Billy Owens is doing right now.