At the height of his career, Chris Webber was on top of the world. He is one of the best NBA players the league has ever seen, was followed by scandals, and he was even dating supermodels like Tyra Banks.
You might think that being the No. 1 draft pick and inking a $74 million deal would be his greatest accomplishment, but the truth might surprise you. Nine years after retiring, Chris Webber finally shared his proudest moment.
There’s Nothing That Chris Webber Can’t Do
Basketball fans know what to expect from a star like Chris Webber. He’s been a standout on the court since his college days. He was a five-time all-star, Rookie of The Year, five-time All-NBA team selection…the list goes on and on.
At the height of his career, it seemed like there wasn’t an award or buzzer-beater that Webber couldn’t take home. We couldn’t get enough of the basketball star but off the court, there was a lot going on in Webber’s life.
Wait, That’s Not His Name?
Many people in the NBA grow up using different names. This could be due to their real name being too long or maybe they became comfortable with what the people close to them refer to them as.
Chris Webber is only a portion of Webber’s real name. That’s right — did you know his name is Mayce Edward Christopher Webber III? That’s quite ta mouthful, so we understand why he elected to use the simpler “Chris.”
Straight From Detroit
Born in 1973, Chris Webber is a Detroit, Michigan native. From a very young age, basketball had a huge influence on his life. However, like many other athletes, he didn’t start his path to stardom until he made it to high school.
Webber was the man in high school. He led his team, Detroit Country Day School, to a Michigan High School Athletic Association State Championship Title. Not even some of the greatest players were that good in high school…
Once he was done dominating in high school, he went on to do the same thing at the college level. He went to study and play basketball at the University of Michigan.
As a Wolverine, Webber’s college career was one of the most famous to date. His freshman year he was a big help to the coveted “Fab 5,” a group of talented freshmen players. Having a great college career was not his greatest achievement, however…
As it turned out, Webber was tied into the mid-’90s Michigan Basketball scandal. They found the tremendous athlete guilty, and ended up stripping him of all the college awards he earned while playing for the Wolverines.
Later, he was convicted of perjury after they found out he had taken more than $200,000 in cash from local boosters. All he wanted to do was play basketball, he didn’t know he would end up in this kind of mess.
The Infamous Timeout
A moment that Webber probably tries hard to forget, and hates when sports channels bring it back up, is the National Championship game from 1993. There were only 11 seconds left on the clock and Michigan didn’t have any timeouts left. They were down two and Webber called a timeout.
When a team calls a timeout when they have none, it’s an automatic free-throw shooting situation. He essentially gave the game away by not having his mind in the game.
The Number One Draft Pick
Perhaps his greatest achievement was becoming the number one draft pick in the NBA? Obviously, not everyone has the pleasure of doing so since there could only be one every year. Even so, this wasn’t his greatest achievement.
The Orlando Magic selected him at the top spot back in 1993. He wouldn’t last long in that jersey, as there were other plans in store for the big man. Still, that wouldn’t stop him from accomplishing greatness…
Webber’s Love Life
Surely, being the humble and amazing athlete that he is, Webber was sure to be a hit on the dating market. Webber has been linked with superstar model Tyra Banks in the past, but she wouldn’t be the woman he ended up with. We’ll learn more about their relationship later on.
After retirement from the NBA, he took the next big step in his life. He married his long-term girlfriend Erika Dates back in 2009. They had a romantic ceremony, but they would learn soon that marriage comes with unforeseeable issues.
Settling Down Into An Issue
Once he got married, both of them were eager to start a family. Who wouldn’t be? The only thing is that they became discouraged when fertility issues prevented it from happening. Doctors alerted them that they might never be able to have a child.
That’s shocking and hurtful news to hear after you’ve had a great life and want to expand your family with your wife. The good news is, his greatest achievement was only around the corner…
Bring Home The Twins!
“After many years of trying and more than a few heartbreaks we were blessed with these little ones,” Webber wrote on his Instagram. It finally happened! Webber’s greatest achievement was having these two adorable children!
They were born in 2017 and the couple was ecstatic. After years of trying, this couldn’t have been a more joyous moment for Webber and his wife. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t have other superb accomplishments.
Number One Pick Money
Being the number one pick in the NBA is a lot harder to do than many other sports. For starters, there are only about 15 roster spaces and two rounds of drafting. Each year, general managers take loads of time trying to figure out who will help their franchise the most.
After the Orlando Magic drafted Webber, he was shipped to the Golden State Warriors on draft day. The Warriors ended up signing him to a huge rookie contract. He earned himself a $74.4 million deal.
Reunited And It Feels So Good
After spending some time in Golden State, the Warriors shipped Webber across the nation to play in Washington. It’s never easy getting traded even if you request one yourself. You have to always get acclimated with your new teammates, and the environment.
Thankfully, Webber had a familiar face there to greet him. One of his old Fab Five pals, Juwan Howard, was already playing for the Washington Bullets (now Wizards). The two picked up where they left off.
Webber And Banks
Before he became serious with his current wife, Webber was on the market and landed one of Hollywood’s finest. That’s right, Webber and Tyra Banks were once a thing from 2002 until 2004.
After he played for Washington, that’s when he headed to California to hoop for the Sacramento Kings. The couple would always get spotted at the games. We didn’t know Banks had a thing for basketball players. Maybe it was his height that captivated her.
Bringing Winning To Sac!
It was almost as if Webber did the impossible in Sacramento. At first, he was reluctant to head there because he wasn’t a fan of their losing ways. That all changed once Webber arrived and threw on a jersey.
Webber was the main piece of the newly energized team. He nearly did the impossible and carried them to the NBA Finals! if it weren’t for Shaq and the Lakers, Webber could very well have some championships under his belt.
Sadly, Webber’s career was highly affected by injuries, which became worse and worse. After bouncing around between a few teams, he found himself playing for his hometown team, the Detroit Pistons. His last season would come in 2008 after 15 years of playing.
He finished his career averaging 20.7 points per game, 4.2 assists, and 9.8 rebounds. Those are some impeccable stats that some players can’t even average during a regular season! Webber certainly put his all on the court.
These days, if you want to get your healthy dosage of Webber, all you have to do is tune in to either NBATV or TNT. After retirement, he ventured down many roads, but the one road that happens to be a great suit for him is an analyst.
He is just as good on the court as he is off the court. His commentary is always lively and he doesn’t fail to bring in a new perspective.
Into The Arts
Outside of sports, Webber has a thing for art. The big man has quite a collection. He owns distinct and rare African-American artifacts that are on display at Central Library in Sacramento. It started out as just an interest in his heritage and became something much bigger.
“I just thought I was going to put it in the hallway of my house. My friends were like, ‘You’re corny. You’re a nerd.’ I thought no one would care” Webber said. His mom is the one who inspired him to begin his collection.
Being that he is involved heavily in the media, Webber came up with a great idea: he is going to start a production company! Its going to be called Webber Productions and will make sports films and documentaries highlighting the social issues revolving around sport.
“I am happy to start a company with a man like Peter Gilbert, who has proven to be one of the best in documentary film work. I look forward to learning from him and telling great stories around my passions, my community, and my world with him,” Webber said.
To The Rafters
Why wouldn’t he have his jersey retired? He helped establish the Kings as one of the premier threats in the NBA for many years. From 1998 to 2004, Webber made an impact that will never get lost in the minds of Kings fans.
Now, no one who plays for the franchise can wear the number four out of respect. Every game, they will also look up and see that giant jersey hanging high in the rafters.
Coming up in Detroit, its natural for people to develop an affinity for cars. Its just something that comes with the territory if you will. Chris Webber’s first car was a burgundy Chevy Corsica.
It might not look like much, but he called it his “baby” and his best friend. Webber more than likely spent a lot of time working on it and making sure it ran fine for him so he wouldn’t miss a day of practicing!
When you’re young star and coming up in a city that is impoverished and doesn’t have the same opportunity as other places, people will begin to see you as a beacon of hope. That’s what Webber was to his community.
Webber became Mr. Basketball for Michigan due to his incredible talent and skillset. Each state crowns whoever the best basketball player is in high school Mr. Basketball and Webber happened to be that out in Michigan.
The Fab Five’s Impact
Chris Webber, Jalen Rose, Juwan Howard, and the rest of the Fab Five played a huge part in bringing more culture to the NCAA. By culture, we mean something more along the line of a hip-hop vibe.
The team was stacked with talent and while Webber played for them, they went to two NCAA Finals. Something even more astonishing is that four out of the five players on that iconic team ended up going to the NBA!
Trouble For Webber
Outside of the trouble he got into with the Michigan Wolverines, Webber also had a past of charges against him. In 1988, Webber was in hot water due to multiple offenses. They charged him with marijuana possession, second-degree assault, and a DUI!
Somehow, he managed to squirm his way out of these with nothing more than a slap on the wrist. He was only forced to pay $560 for the minor infractions. That’s one lucky guy.
Trouble Yet Again
You would imagine that someone who was recently caught up with the law would decide to keep a low-profile and stay away from anything risky. That’s what people assumed Webber would do after getting away from those other charges without much to go on his record.
Well, Webber found himself in trouble again! That same year he was caught up with the DUI and assault, U.S. customs stopped him while he was in Puerto Rico.
He’s come a long way since his troubles with the law, so there’s that. Unfortunately, these run-ins with the law couldn’t have come at a worse time for the young Webber. He was trying to build his brand, but kept hitting road blocks.
The time they stopped him at the airport in Puerto Rico, it was for possession of marijuana in his luggage. The crazy part is, that he was heading to Barbados to promote his new sneaker launch with Fila!
Fila Speaks Out
When you’re riding a high, sometimes you can hit a low just as quick as you reached the top. Once Webber got stopped at the Airport, Fila elected to drop the star player from their brand and Webber was not happy about that.
“In no way does Fila condone the use of illicit drugs,” Fila U.S.A. president Jon Epstein said. “We expect our athletes to conduct themselves in an exemplary manner on and off the court, and we are taking this issue very seriously.”
Webber The Rapper
There’s a trend that NBA stars like to get into rapping early in their professional careers. For example, Kobe Bryant, Allen Iverson, Lonzo Ball, and Damian Lillard all released an album soon after they entered the NBA.
That pattern remained true for star Chris Webber. In 1999, he came out with a rap album 2 Much Drama. He even released a music video for one of the tracks titled “Gangsta, Gangsta.” Such an interesting song choice for someone with a criminal background.
Solidifying His Rank
Webber didn’t the excellent start to his career that he might have hoped for, but that all changed once he arrived in Sacramento. During those years, Webber solidified his ranking as one of the NBA’s top power forwards.
In the 2000-2001 season, The forward became an All-star, and averaged his highest points with 27.1. Those accomplishments led him to land a very lucrative deal with the Kings worth $127 million over seven years. That’s superstar money!
Proving His Worth
Some players fall under pressure or relax once they earn a contract as massive as Chris Webber’s. The Detroit native didn’t do anything like that once he got paid and proved he was worth every penny.
He led the Kings to a record-breaking season with 61 wins and only 21 losses. Sadly, in 2002 the Lakers would defeat the Kings in a shocker during the playoffs, thus crushing the hopes and dreams the fans had of going to the Finals.
Heading To Philly
Despite having some great years in Sacramento, all good things must come to an end. Webber tried hard to carry his team to the promise land, but fell short a few times.
Eventually, injuries started to catch up with the star, so the Kings decided it was time to part ways with the big man. As a result, Webber found himself heading East for the Philadelphia 76ers. Perhaps this could have been a good thing for him?
Tough Luck In Philly
Chris Webber’s days as one of the top power forwards were slowing coming to an end. Once he headed to the 76ers, his age and injuries began to catch up with him.
He ended up only spending two years in the city of brotherly love before going elsewhere. Respectfully, the fans in Philadelphia weren’t upset with Webber, as they knew bringing him didn’t mean they were going to start being successful. His next destination was a nice fit for him…
Going Back Home
During his playing days, Chris Webber stated how he would love to play for his hometown team. After his stint with the 76ers, Webber signed a deal with the Detroit Pistons on January 16, 2007.
The team improved after signing the veteran forward. Their record saw a jump and they worked their way up to the number one seed in the East. Still, the Pistons ended up falling short to the LeBron James led Cleveland Cavilers and Webber missed another chance at the NBA Finals.
Splitting With The Pistons
Despite Webber having a positive impact on the Detroit Pistons, things didn’t end so well for him. He helped the Pistons during a pivotal game in the playoffs that they needed to win. Webber scored 20 points and grabbed seven rebounds in the must win game.
Five of those points came during double overtime, but it wasn’t enough to pull off the victory. When the off-season arrived, the team decided not to resign Webber and thus a new chapter in his life started…
Hello Again, Golden State
Once the Pistons decided to pass on Chris Webber, he landed back in the city where it began. The Warriors decided to take a chance on the player they traded for on draft day so many years ago.
Nearly one year after signing with the Pistons, Webber signed on the dotted line to play with the Warriors for $1.2 million which is the veteran’s minimum. Unfortunately, he ended up only playing for nine games and had sub-par averages.
Hall Of Fame?
A question many fans ponder is if Chris Webber will make the Hall of Fame. The Kings icon became a Hall of Fame finalist in early 2019, so that had people excited that he would make it.
A good handful of players become finalist every year. It boils down to receiving 18 of 24 votes from the Honors Committee to enter the Hall. Many speculated that this would finally be his year to become remembered forever…
Isn’t The Third Time A Charm?
2019 wasn’t the first year for Webber to get elected for. It was his third time, so it felt like it was his time to shine finally. Sadly, on April 6, 2019, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski announced who had received a spot and Webber’s name wasn’t called.
Tom Ziller of SB Nation wrote, “The bottom line is that given his incredible peak, Webber is not getting the respect he deserves from Hall of Fame voters.” Bold but accurate statement.
As it would appear, it looks like Chris Webber made the right choice to become an analyst after calling it quits for his playing career. That’s usually the path a lot of big-time players go down after they retire from the NBA.
Legends like Shaquille O’Neal, Charles Barkley, and Kevin Garnett all participate on the other side of the court these days. Webber has become one of the fan favorites for TNT’s Players Only segment.
Chris Webber didn’t become a sports broadcaster because he could, its deeper than that. Webber clearly has a strong love for the game this job helps him keep connected to the game he grew up and fell in love with.
“Hopefully, I can never get out of it,” Webber said. “I don’t think you ever get too old for the game or have a disconnect. As long as you stay in the gym and stay in the know, you’re OK.”
Bringing In The Accolades
Webber is an accomplished player for many reasons. He accumulated a ton of awards during his playing years. He was a five-time all-star, Rookie of The Year, five-time All-NBA team selection, and the list goes on. There are players who are considered ‘greats’ that didn’t receive half of these.
However, none of the NBA stuff could compare to what Webber believes is his greatest achievement so far in life. It holds a special place in his heart, but what could it be?
What A Comedian
Of course, it’s only right that once you become a broadcaster of any sort, that you bring your own flavor to the table. You don’t want to call a game and sound dull and mundane. Chris Webber always spices things up and has a ton of jokes.
During a game where the Lakers matched up against the Utah Jazz, Webber took to Twitter to post the picture you see. He captioned it with, “Guess they didn’t know how tall I am. Can’t get my legs under the table.”