In Thomas Wolfe’s “You Can’t Go Home Again” Wolfe writes about a man who returns to his hometown and is met with outrage and hatred. George Webber was not able to return home, but can Chris Webber?
The Philadelphia 76ers got off to a bad start in 2006 and have since decided it’s time to start over. First they traded their star player Allen Iverson to the Denver Nuggets and now the 76ers have bought out of the remaining year and a half of Chris Webber’s contract. Once the transaction is completed Chris Webber is free to sign with a new team. Originally Webber was looking at five possible teams to sign with: Detroit, San Antonio, Dallas, Los Angeles, and Miami. Now it’s being reported that Chris Webber is set to sign with the Pistons and return home.
Webber was born and raised in the city of Detroit and attended Detroit Country Day School in prep school and was the most recruited player in the state of Michigan since Magic Johnson. Webber led Detroit Country Day School to three state championships, was named Mr. Basketball and was the 1990 – 1991 High school player of the year. Webber then attended the University of Michigan where he led the Wolverines to the Championship game twice as a member of the Fab Five.
Chris Webber has had a very up and down NBA career. Webber started off in Golden State where he got off to a good start, averaging 17 points and 9 rebounds per game on his way to winning the Rookie of the Year and leading the Warriors to the playoffs. Webber next landed in Washington where he again led the Bullets to the playoffs but most of his stay was hampered by injuries. In 1998 Chris Webber was traded to the Sacramento Kings for Mitch Richmond and Otis Thorpe and Webber enjoyed the best part of his career. With Chris Webber the Sacramento Kings became a title contender and enjoyed some of the best seasons in their history. Unfortunately the past couple of years injuries arose again and Webber was shipped to Philadelphia where he has yet to make much of an impact.
The injuries and Webber’s lack of enthusiasm made him expendable to the 76ers but Webber now says he feels healthier than he has been in years. The Pistons also hope that playing for a contender will inspire Webber more than playing for the hapless 76ers. It is not known how Webber will be treated when he returns to Detroit. In 2002 Webber was convicted of perjury. During the trial he admitted to accepting large amounts of cash from a Michigan booster and the NCAA had to strike all of the Wolverines’ accomplishments from Webber’s two years in Michigan. So when Webber takes the court in Detroit once again will he be treated like the prodigal son returning home? Or will he be met with outrage and hatred like Thomas Wolfe’s George Webber?