Jay C. Brandriet
Here’s the joke. Knock knock. Who’s there? Chris Webber is not in the Hall of Fame.
C Webb has been eligible for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame for like half a decade. Guys have to wait, I know. His first year, he did not get one nomination. This is absolutely disrespectful to Webber’s impact on the game.
We know about his ultra famous time out in college. The moment has become his signature play, along side dunking over Barkley. He was often injured. He never played in the NBA Finals. Truth is, his playoff career was “only” very good.
Chris was one of the top college players ever. He is also an all time NBA great. That’s enough. He’s in. The level you hit, is often the only thing a voter should need. I spent 1999 to 2002 devouring the NBA. I watched four plus games a night (smh, I know). This was Webber’s heyday. I thought over the first half of the 2000-01 season, Chris was the best player in the world. He was the center piece of those, ahead of their time Sacramento Kings teams. I remember Chris on a bum leg, trying to guard Shaq in game seven of the West Finals. I can see him digging that forearm into the big man. His other arm, waving to the crowd, begging them to get excited about it.
His hands were like magnets. Webber was one of the very best passers to play. He dropped circus dimes. He had patience under the rim, and had a cool way of using his shoulders. This era, was super competitive for him. The power forward was evolving and peaking in league wide depth. At worst, Webber was a low-level great.
Basketball reference is the only place I go for stats. It’s an awesome site. They have a section where it projects what percent chance a player has to get into the Hall of Fame. I asked Jay Yeomans today (jmoneysports.com) what percent chance he thought Webber had? His response was “90.” Sounded right to me.
The answer? 14.6 percent! Huh? I’d assign Ron Harper, or Kenny Smith that number.
Kevin Johnson is at 19 percent, and Mark Price 18.3. They both are close to Hall level, and Webber was better than both. Chauncey Billups is at 84.4 percent. Um. Chris was better than him too, That Finals MVP award must carry serious weight.
On TNT a few years back a handful of guys were picking out of a pool of all time stars, like a fantasy draft. Webber was one of the guests on the panel. Duncan, Dirk, and KG had been chosen and were off the board. It was getting late and a little awkward as Chris had not been taken. C Webb had to stick up for himself a bit. “I’m cool with those guys going ahead of me. But I promise you Tim, Kevin, and Dirk know me real well.” Truth. Webber’s last pick of the draft? He ended up taking himself.
The Hall factors in what you did in college and international play. His NBA experience should be enough. He better get that invite in 2019. There have been scandals surrounding Michigan and Webber at that time so his, success has been kind of “erased.” That time out never happened then either.
Jay C. Brandriet