Chris Webber and Don Nelson Reunion? Tiger Dominates Buick; Roger Clemens Goes Damage Control; LeBron James Sends Kobe and the Lakers On A Slide
Calm yourself Michelle. Be EZ.
Coming out of Michigan in ’93 it seemed Chris was headed for the same success he’d had in college. The second sophomore drafted first overall (Magic), was in a position early to contend for a championship with the passionate Warriors. Remember how Spreewell was dunking on everyone?
GS was amassing multiple 50 win seasons with the likes of Spreewell, Chris Mullin, multi-talented Billy Owens and current Mavs coach Avery Johnson. They were a dynamic bunch who stuffed the stat sheet with all around contributions from almost the entire roster. Webber put up 17 and 9 on his way to winning Rookie of the Year, but he often clashed with Nelson over defining his game. Nelson wanted Chris banging in the post and Chris wanted to show his versatility similar to Magic Johnson and fellow Detroit native Derrick Coleman.
In hindsight, both blew it. Though the Warriors were 50-32, Chris exercised an option and was traded to the Washington Bullets for Tom Gugliotta and three first round picks. Both men have had success in the lig, but not what each has hoped for.
The 1993 NBA MVP, Barkley got him back in the playoffs putting up 58 in the first game of a three game sweep.
Looks like Webb and his first NBA coach might be willing to give it another shot–as early as Tuesday. Chris has a crib out there and is also cool with Baron Davis and Matt Barnes.
Coach Don Nelson – in one of his half-combative, half-pleading tones – finally made it clear Sunday why he is chasing after Chris Webber so hard.
“Have you seen my roster?” Nelson said after the pregame shootaround. “I think you need to look deep at that roster and look at our schedule and when we start playing the West. Are we going to be strong enough? You don’t think that’s a concern to everybody?”
Nelson essentially put out the welcome mat for Webber, stressing his need for another big man while critiquing his players’ shortfalls.
“It would be a talented big person – a guy who has some skill that we don’t have,” Nelson said of Webber. “I see a big person. A need. And I see passing skills. I’ve got one passer only on the team (Baron Davis), and he can’t get all the assists. And the size factor, the fact that Al (Harrington) is not a good rebounder. …
“I think we need to look at a player, or anybody, who can play in an NBA game (who) has some size and can make me one player deeper. With (Austin Croshere) in and out, (Mickael Pietrus) not (playing well), it’s basically a seven-man team. And two of them are D-League players.”
This most likely is the last hurrah for both. The only other active players from the 93 draft are Lindsey Hunter and Sam Cassell. Golden State is looking to get back the gold dust that allowed them to upset #1 seed Dallas in the first round of last year’s playoffs. Chris has always been one of the best passing big men in the game (22 triple doubles). Maybe he can help free up a very talented roster for open looks and therefore get this team get over the hump and do some real damage in June.
Good luck Webb.
(Jeff Gross, Getty Images)
With all the controversy swirling around Tiger Woods the last couple of weeks he still was able to run through Torrey Pines like Fuzzy Zoeller chasing him with a bucket of Kelly Tilghman’s fried chicken. Since 1991, he’s won an astounding 14 times on San Diego area courses, and defeated the field at the Buick for the fourth consecutive year. With yesterday’s masterful performance, Tiger has tied the legendary Arnold Palmer for fourth in all time wins. I’ll have a pretty extensive piece posted tomorrow asking five questions of journalists, athletes, bloggers as well as The Starting Five collective. Tiger’s response to Kelly Tilghman’s lynch remark and subsequent Golfweek cover definitely are addressed.
Thank you to everyone who contributed in advance.
I have to admit I haven’t read it all, but Roger Clemens and his lawyers are attempting to provide evidence Rocket’s career ebbs and flows were a product of a commitment to weight training–amplified by shoulder surgery in 1985–natural ability and the every day rigors of being a pitcher in MLB.
“Clemens’ longevity was due to his ability to adjust his style of pitching as he got older, incorporating his very effective split-finger fastball to offset the decrease in the speed of his regular fastball caused by aging,” said the report, created by Randy Hendricks and two associates at his firm.
Clemens’ former trainer, Brian McNamee, claimed in last month’s Mitchell Report on drugs in baseball that he injected the pitcher with steroids and human growth hormone at least 16 times in 1998, 2000 and 2001. Clemens vehemently denies the allegations, and Clemens and McNamee are among five witnesses scheduled to testify before a House committee on Feb. 13. Clemens also has sued McNamee for defamation.
Hendricks’ report, which includes 38 charts, in some ways resembles a salary arbitration case. One of the charts shows Clemens’ ERA was lower than the league average in all but two of his 23 major league seasons. The report also compares variations in Clemens’ career with those of Randy Johnson, Curt Schilling and Nolan Ryan, and maintains slumps often can be correlated with injuries.
“Of the six years that feature Clemens’ best ERA margins, two occurred in Boston, after he had been in the major leagues for several years; two occurred in his two years in Toronto; and two occurred after he switched leagues and pitched for the Houston Astros,” the report said.
Clemens went 40-39 in his last four seasons with the Red Sox, and when the pitcher left Boston’s general manager at the time, Dan Duquette, said Clemens was in the “twilight” of his career. Clemens was 192-111 with the Red Sox and won three Cy Young Awards and an MVP, then went 162-73 with Toronto, the New York Yankees and Houston, winning four Cy Youngs.
“Clemens was far from being in the ‘twilight of his career’ or ‘washed up’ in 1996, as some have speculated,” the report said. “During the 1996 season Clemens ranked first in strikeouts in the American League and tied his own record by striking out 20 batters in Detroit on Sept. 18, 1996. In addition, he ranked sixth in the AL in ERA, second in the AL in hits per nine innings, and fifth in innings pitched. This performance cannot be reasonably categorized as a ‘twilight.”
Man, I could care less. I just want all of this to go away. The actual games matter to me most. All this drama is killing a love for the sport I’ve adored since Reggie Jackson signed with the Yankees.
(AP Photo: Ric Francis)
Big Z didn’t know what to do with sickness like this did he?
NBA leading scorer LeBron James is becoming deftly unstoppable. The difference between he and Kobe is Bron Bron’s ability to bully himself into the lane–after grabbing a rebound on the other end–and scoring while getting to the line in the process. I truly think the cat could average 30 and 15 as a power forward.
In yesterday’s match up with Kobe Bryant and the Lakers, James scored 41 to lead the Cavs to a 98-95 win in Los Angeles. At times he overshadowed Kobe in his own house. The Lakers have lost three straight and have cause for concern considering how injuries are beginning to take their toll. Kobe scored 33 had 12 rebounds and 6 dimes. After LeBron hit two free throws to go up three, the Lakers inexplicably did not get off a potential game tying shot:
“We ran our last-second play, I was hoping to get the shot off,” said Walton, who shot 4-for-8 for nine points and also had five rebounds, five assists and four steals. “I kind of fumbled the ball a little bit, wasn’t aware the clock was as low as it was, and as soon as I passed it back to Kobe, I realized that that was a mistake, and unfortunately it cost us big.”
“It was designed for me to come up from the top of the floor and get a good look at a 3,” Bryant said regarding the last play. “We had to run a dribble weave in that situation and they both came with me, so I kicked it out. I don’t know if he had a clear look at the basket. I think they rotated to him pretty quickly. There’s always other options.”
Although Kobe can shoulder the offensive load for multiple game stretches, this team is missing Andrew Bynum’s big time presence on both ends of the floor. Kobe led the team in almost every offensive category Sunday and it’ll be interesting if the Lakers will have the guts and pull the trigger to bring a big man in until Bynum returns. January is a lost month in the NBA similar to the dog days of summer in MLB. Players are tired and limp into the All Star break, so don’t make too much of team slides.
On the other end, LeBron and the Cavs look to make a decent run to reclaim last year’s playoff luster. James is hovering around 30 points a game, almost eight rebounds and 8 assists–seventh in the league.
Dude will average a triple double for a season in the next year or so. Don’t sleep.