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Chris Webber, Pro Basketball Hall of Famer

JR Sports Brief / JR
The Truth Network Radio
May 1, 2024 8:14 pm

Chris Webber, Pro Basketball Hall of Famer

JR Sports Brief / JR

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May 1, 2024 8:14 pm

Chris Webber joined JR to discuss his new book, "By God's Grace" and which young players he loves watching the most. 

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You'll be glad you did. It's the JR Sportbreeze show here with you on the Infinity Sports Network. We going coast to coast. And right now we got a hall of Famer here. We got a five time All-Star. We got five All-NBA. We got an author. We're going to talk about his book in a second by God's grace. It's my main man, Chris Webber. C-Web, how you doing, man?

I'm doing great, baby. Thanks for having me on. Absolutely. First of all, we're going to get into the book.

God's grace. The league is hot right now. Well, playoffs in full swing.

We got teams pushing game sixes and sevens. What are you excited about, man? I'm excited about this man named Anthony Edwards. I don't know if you ever heard of him, but if you haven't heard of him, somebody do your research because I just love the league is in great hands. And I specifically love his storyline in this playoffs because I remember playing against my heroes and he's embracing going against Kevin Durant, one of the best. And you see how he's earning that respect. I really like that. And it takes a humanly, a vulnerability, and a passion to be able to say, one, this is my favorite player.

And two, I'm going to try to bust your ass today. What is it about Anthony Edwards that's different? Like we see all these international stars in the league right now. Shay Gilgus, Alexander Doncic, Jokic, Antetokounmpo. He's from right here in Georgia. Anthony Edwards is. What separates him? What makes him different?

I think when you look at his story of him getting into the league, he embraced a lot of hardship before that. And I think it's his passion. I think what stands out with a lot of guys is their passion because passion makes you consistent, consistent with effort, consistent with thoughtfulness on the court.

And you see him becoming the leader. I mean, how to, you know, right now the league with OKC in Minnesota being two of the top teams in the West being that young, that's something, man. So that's what, that's what makes him different. Having the same talent as a few other teams that are six on up, but his impact and the way that the, you know, the veterans on his team embrace him. That says a lot about how he is in the locker room, off the court. So I think a lot of his intangibles is what really I'm a fan of. Chris Weber is here with us, the JR Sport Reshow Coast to Coast on the Infinity Sports Network.

You talk about what makes Ant-Man special. I mentioned the European players that are driving the league right now. When you play, Chris, blocking shots, rebounding coast to coast, passing the ball in a crazy way. What makes MVP soon to probably be three-time MVP like Jokic so spectacular? I think what makes Jokic spectacular is one, his skill set, the way that he plays. A lot of people were criticizing him just like LeBron and others for playing the right way.

So one, he went through that criticism. He plays the right way. Two, he trusts players. I mean, a lot of times you see guys taking bad shots, ill-advised shots because they don't trust the player. That's really why he's getting assists. When you're a good passer, guys run harder when you get the ball. They cut with integrity. They make sure that the spacing is correct because they know that whoever's in the right position will get the ball.

It's not just standing around and watching. And lastly, I think the coaching staff of Denver is the most slept on coaching staff. All coaches on Denver are coaches' sons. All coaches on Denver are dads coached in the NBA. One, it takes a lot to be a coach's son.

Two, to be able to have that historic value and be able to bring it and adopt it to the game today, that's something special. And so I think it's the perfect storm, but it all starts with his heart and passion and the way that he plays the game as IQ. Chris, you played with an excellent passer as well with the Kings and Vlade and people saw how he moved the ball around.

Do you see similarities there? And why do you think he gets bad so much, Jokic? Is it just because he's from Europe, it's unconventional?

I don't know. To me, I think that maybe because he's not as athletic, I'm not sure. But to me, it's between Shaigil just up in OKC and it's with him with the MVP because he does so much more. Scoring and rebounding is great, but some guys can't get out of a playoff round because they can't make everyone else better.

And we forget about that. You got to make people better. And Jokic does that. If all you can do is shoot, he'll make you better. If all you can do is dunk, he'll make you better. And that's what people are forgetting about the skill set of the game.

And I think that's what we don't appreciate about Brian. Chris Weber is here with us, Infinity Sports Network, the JR Sport Reef Show. When you play, the game was more slow grind out. As you got later in your career, especially with the Kings, you were going up and down the court. What do you think about the current pace and how things have gone? Well, I love the current pace. And I mean, man, you know the game because the East Coast, that's why I didn't love playing on the East Coast early in my career.

And then we went to Sacramento. We led the league in pace for four years. And so, pacing is everything. The West Coast is more of a flow offense. And our system, our style is the same one that Golden State used and took to another level and won championships with. But it's all that corner action, the spacing and getting up and down the floor. But you need guys that can pass in the offense like that. You need a guy like Payser that can shoot in the offense like that. You need others on defense that can make it go. So, you have to have the right players in the skill set, not just the big three, not just great talent.

But if the big three doesn't cut hard, that means nothing because it stops the offensive flow. And so, I love the flow of the games now. I think players are given a lot more freedom to take shots.

There's a lot more bad shots in the game with guys I don't think should be trusted to take those shots. But however, the flow of the game is something that's awesome. And these young players, man, they're taking the game to another level. You got to love it. Chris Weber is here with us. It's just crazy. Even you think about 75 plus years of basketball, okay?

I didn't see all 75 plus 80 years. Y'all have to have been the Kings, one of the most exciting teams ever, period, in basketball history. Jason Williams, you, everybody flying, passing, shooting. Granted, no championship, but was that one of the best experiences you had basketball-wise in your career? Yeah, definitely.

Sacramento was one of the best experiences. And I talk about that in the book because a lot of the times at the end of the day when you retire, I talk to a lot of guys. And one thing that guys go after is the ring. And so I definitely want a ring and love that I competed at a high level and that I was the engine that drove the car.

However, the love, whether it was at Michigan, whether it was at a Sacramento, love can't be duplicated with some guys that have multiple rings. And so for me, I appreciate the journey that I have. I take the wins that I have because at the end of the day, the accomplishment is to do your best to win a championship, to be remembered, to inspire, to be in the hearts and minds of the fans.

And I have all of those, but one, and I'll take that because some guys have one and none of the rest. And so it's a blessing, man, internationally, playing with guys like Peja, Hida Turkulu, Vlade Divac. So when you go internationally to see those people, and then again, from the time of college, having that experience with players.

So yeah, man, this has been a blessing and a wonderful ride. And that makes it sweeter to watch these guys like an Ant-Man, like a Doncish on their journey, like a Kyrie Irvin on their journey to see how they're going to define themselves, how they're going to handle one misfortune. Will they be defined by that?

Can they get through it? Can they be consistent? Because at the end of the day, everybody's going to talk about you, but can you be consistent is the thing that I take from it. And something I used to talk to Kobe about and some things I talked, same things I talked to some of the young players about today is, can you be consistent through the storms?

And I think that applies to anything. Chris Roberts here with us on the JR Sportbree show, we talk about the book, by God's grace, took you about a decade plus to put this together. Why now?

You ain't elderly, you know, why did you want to do this now? Well, because, you know, sometimes, as you said earlier, it doesn't just apply to basketball. So whether you're a journalist, a TV personality, a doctor, you have to put blinders on is what I call it and focus to get to where you're going to end up. And many times, you can be distracted, you can be distracted by emotion, you can be distracted by rumors, you can be distracted by the truth. And so for me, on this journey, I did a really great job at having blinders on. However, when you have that focus, sometimes you miss some of the journey along the way. And so when I retired, I set off to really go on a journey of self discovery to talk to my family, from my great aunt who is 93 and would tell me stories about my grandmother and others and family that helped pour their prayers into me getting through the league, all the way to really just, excuse me, talking to coaches and players that I played with from Michigan to Sacramento about the journey. And so for me, it was one of being grateful, one of being thankful.

After I was inducted into the Hall of Fame, I wanted to take a kind of a self account of what had happened, the wins and the losses, not just in the game, but in life. And so for me, it was a great opportunity to go back and relive some wonderful moments and really see that it was God's grace that sustained me, that helped me through those moments. And hopefully it inspires people to understand that your words mean a lot, the love that you have mean a lot. We can encourage someone in their worst moments and not even know that. And hopefully that affects our attitude every day with the grace that we give others. Cause we can be that person's angel just to get them through another second. And there were so many coaches, parents, teachers that for me reinforced certain principles that kind of made it easy for me to focus and know I was on the right track. They kept the narrative the right way for me. And I just thank God for that.

Chris Weber is here with us, the JR Sport Reshow on the Infinity Sports Network, Coast to Coast. This is a lot of depth in this book, man. You talk about coming up through high school, your experiences at Michigan, experience in the league, post league, all the fame, that's the cover on the back. Is there another book?

Are you diving a little bit deeper into some future things? Yeah, there's another book and I'm working on that now, but with here, I had to go so deep because, you know, since I was 12, I was blessed to have a TV interview, to be known as this great player at 12. And so at 12, everyone started telling my story for me.

So from what high school I was going to, and why did I go to that high school, to the college I went to, why did I go there, to being the number one pick after calling time out, you know, it was so many things to address for basketball fans. I really wrote this book. I'm an avid reader. I really wrote this book for myself because I didn't want it just to be four pages in the middle of just pictures. I didn't want it to be a bunch of things that didn't give context. And to me, you know, it's over 400 pages because I wanted to give people that supported me. I wanted to do something to say, look, you were right.

I wanted to give haters something to thumb through and look for, look for the moment that they were trying to figure out in there and that it never happened. And so, and also celebrate the players I played with. I was, you know, you know, Dennis Rodman gave me my first job, man. And to be a basketball player and to see that in a week of camp or to see Isaiah Thomas become a mentor of mine my junior year in high school, that's what I mean about God's grace. You know, they didn't have to, they didn't have to say these things. I had friends that unfortunately were murdered and other things. And if not for God's grace, I wanted to do what they were doing, you know, and all it takes is a positive word. And so I had a lot to be thankful for.

I had a lot to make sure that young people with parents understand you're not going to love this discipline now, but discipline gives you safety. And so I had a lot to celebrate and been through a lot and just wanted to share it with the people. Well, Chris, we appreciate you sharing that. I'd be remiss for all of our listeners in Michigan right now not to ask you about Michigan. You went back earlier this year. We know your buddy Juwan was there and now he's an assistant back with the Brooklyn Nets now. Can we expect to see you up in Michigan more into the future? I would hope so. I thank Juwan for really bringing all of us back.

And so I was just talking to the fellas the other day and, you know, we'll see what happens. I'm glad that Juwan's back and coaching, but he's going to do his thing and be successful. But we love Michigan. We're part of their history and you can't erase, you can't erase the love out of people's minds. You know, I can ask the best sports fan who won a championship four years ago and they wouldn't remember, but that love for us is there. And so I would hope the university embraces it. The people of Michigan embrace it. So if it's never embraced at the university, we're fine because as long as you have a love of people, I'd rather have a love of people than the love of a brick and mortar place where people aren't from that area. So hopefully something could happen, but it hasn't happened in 30 years.

So the book talks about discipline, perseverance, and that's just the perseverance of keeping it moving. But of course, and I think too that there's a lot of self-examination that's going to have to be done by institutions in the NCAA. You look at it, I mean, how can we talk about the Fab Five and not talk about the fact that Reggie Bush just got his Heisman back? You know, how can you not talk about that?

How can you not? I mean, you know, our generation has had a chance to grow older and wiser and the narrative has changed. And I talk about that too. If you stay consistent, time will be your alibi.

And I feel the time has been my alibi. And I think that for that reason, hopefully Michigan will embrace the Fab Five again, because it looks weird having those numbers, not even the banners, who cares, but having those numbers on the court and those players playing with that expectation. That's unfair to them.

Chris Weber's here. It's been 30 years. It's ridiculous. And I've been screaming for a long time, for years, it's been robbery. I mean, things have been hung over your neck 30 plus years ago. And you look at way the system, it was robbery.

I mean, it was the NCAA and organizations, just they were taking money that belonged to the players. There's free labor. Don't get me started.

I sit here for a long time. There's other things we can compare it to. Yeah. And what's crazy is I explained it in the book. And so there's two things. Did I take money to go to the University of Michigan?

Hell no. And then there's another thing. The fact that what would we have been owed? What would we have had black socks? Because the story here goes that after we wore our black socks and found out that there was approximately 250,000 socks sold that weekend, we turned our shirts inside out to come to the next game because we knew what it was. So all this NIL and everything else, we've been the proponents of that. So why wouldn't they shut us up?

Who's easier to vilify than a teenager? And so I go into that deep, deep, deep in the book and how it happened and relationships and other things. So yeah, it's something that behind the scenes, we've all worked with players coming up in the system, making sure that they aren't exploited and very happy about that. And hopefully we're part of the change going forward. Chris, as we start to wrap things up, you've lived a full life, man. Broadcasting, playing, playing, business, book, author, what's next, man?

What are you rolling out next? I tell you what, there's some high aspirations that I have, especially being in sports. And hopefully I'll be able to come back and talk to you about those things really soon.

Really, really soon. But yeah, just wanted to make sure, man, that I embraced my children. The fact that I have six year old twins, I've been able to set the foundation and be there. And so for me, just from a guy that was on the road every day of his life, being able to have that time and set that straight. But from business, I've taken the entrepreneurial world just as seriously as I did the sporting world. And so there's a lot of ventures there and it's the same tenants of sports or being a great news personality like yourself.

Get there early, leave late, get the best mentors, work hard, communicate, don't be selfish, the same tenants of sports. And hopefully to take that to another level and just really excited about some of the opportunities but I'll definitely be back, brother, to talk about it. And I've been able to do some things while doing it, be a professor at Morehouse, be a professor at Wake Forest. And so I've stayed busy, but now it's time to get back on the road. Chris Webber is here with us. Chris, tell us about the book by God's grace.

Fill us in, my man. Man, I tell you what, you can get the book at chriswebber.com. I'm very excited about it. It's something that it took many years to write, but to me, it's so rewarding. And I hope that people really get out of the book that this is in you. My story is not unique because I'm a basketball player. My story is not unique because I'm a black male. There's many people that go through these and hopefully you'll see and you'll celebrate the wins in your life and not concentrate on just kind of the down moments because you can see those down moments propels you. I look at it more as how did that moment define you not to be who you were? And I think that whether you're a student of sports and say, what was this guy's worst game?

And you say, wow, he made it to the league. Or the reason why Deion Sanders and reading his book, the reason why Deion's personality is the way he was because his mother was working so hard, she couldn't come to the games. How do you encourage yourself? See, those are the things I have to take from people because I want the best. If you want to be the best, you better take the stories and not just the stories without the process, but the proof of process, the fact that you have to work through it and earn it. That's what I love because that's what makes us all. Everything else is smoke and mirrors.

And if you think you got there by yourself then you don't understand God's grace. Baseball is in full swing. NBA playoffs are heating up and your NFL team is gearing up for training camp. Listen to the latest on the teams you love here on the Odyssey app. The biggest sports radio stations in the country providing unrivaled local coverage of their teams all in one place. Exclusive interviews with players, coaches, and team executives streaming live and always available on demand. Stay in the know with your favorite teams right here on the Odyssey app.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-01 22:40:04 / 2024-05-01 22:48:55 / 9

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