- The Washington Times - Monday, May 21, 2001

Chris Webber is trying to decide where he will be playing next season.

He is not inclined to return to the Kings, because they do not have his kind of players, at least not enough of them. He prefers to be around players who want to storm the beaches of Normandy. As he puts it a couple of times a week, he wants to be around players "who go to war."

The Kings apparently do not want to go to war. They want to go on a picnic, excluding Jason Williams, who wants to go to the center circle at halftime and put on a dribbling show.

Williams is getting there. Give him that. He is one of the players who appears in the Nike commercial that features a lot of fancy dribbling and other assorted nonsense with the basketball.

This is a takeoff of David Letterman's stupid pet tricks, and Williams, who possibly is housebroken, is one of the best. He can fetch, sit or roll over, and all you are required to do in return is pat him on the head or slip him a joint. No, he does not want to go to war.

War is hell, as Vlade Divac could attest. He could not sleep two springs ago because of the NATO bombs dropping on his homeland. He has been there and done that, and he probably has told Webber on occasion that trying to catch some shut-eye around exploding shells is not a pleasant experience, especially when your team is in the playoffs.

Webber does not have to take Divac's word on it. He could discuss it with Steven Spielberg, America's No. 1 historian who, amid much critical acclaim, announced that war was hell for the Ryan family. The profundity of it all was too much.

Webber remains undeterred, however, probably because he learned a few things while attending Country Day with Biff and Buffy. Webber learned to keep it real, and war is very real, and while he is contemplating where he wants to go to war next season, he will look for a sign from the Man above.

Washington is familiar with Webber's spiel, if not his bad-man poses on the court, and now, fortunately, he is Sacramento's concern. The city of Sacramento is desperate for his affection, seemingly not minding one bit that there is not a lot of playoff bite to all his barking.

Webber stands at the top of the key and takes 20-footers in the playoffs. He does not want to go to war, which is odd for someone who is obsessed with others wanting to go to war.

Give Webber credit. At least he now has been a member of a team that advanced to the conference semifinals of the playoffs, although Webber and the Kings probably would like to forget being swept by the Lakers.

Webber's teams, going back to his rookie season with Don Nelson and Golden State, are 7-17 in the playoffs.

You can't blame Webber for what happened with Nelson. You remember the spin back then. It was said that Nelson no longer could relate to the new generation of players, and so, despite Webber's keen assessment, Nelson rebuilt the franchise in Dallas.

It was the same with Webber in Tony Cheng's neighborhood. No one wanted to go to war with Webber, except possibly the woman from Connecticut, who went to war with both Webber and Juwan Howard.

It is a tough situation for Webber. He just wants to be around players who go to war while he shoots 20-footers and pretends he is a franchise player.

He did not try to mix it up against the Lakers, perhaps because the game passed Nelson by in 1994, and the cops in the Washington area did not show him the love, and the Kings do not have enough players who want to go to war.

Webber has an AK-47 in one hand and a grenade in the other, and he is prepared to go to Divac's homeland, if that is what it takes to be around people who want to go to war.

He went to Country Day, and he called a timeout that Michigan didn't have, and darn it, after eight seasons in the NBA, he knows what it takes to be a winner.

His teams have won seven playoff games in eight seasons, and no one, not you and not the woman from Connecticut, can take that away from him.

You want to go to war over it?

Duck. Incoming.

Webber is shooting from the top of the key.

Clang.


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