Chris Webber announced his retirement from the NBA, today. I would just like to say "thank you" for the amazing plays I was fortunate enough to watch during your respective college and NBA careers.
As a Freshman at Michigan, Webber and his Fab Five teammates did the impossible; reaching the NCAA Championship game with an improbable run in the Tournament. Back then, Webber, Jalen Rose, Juwon Howard, Ray Jackson, and Jimmy King (the Freshman along with Chris) basically had equal billing as far as their contribution to this remarkable team. The next year, Chris took the reigns as the bonafide leader, leading the team to a #1 seed in the Tournament in sparking a comeback against UCLA in the round of 16. Thanks to his overall efforts, the Wolverines once again made it to the Championship game.
Along the way, the Fab Five and their teammates were revolutionizing the "fashion" of the game, introducing the baggy shorts look which is still common, today. Back then, traditionalists scoffed at their appearance and overall swagger. Bill Walton, former college great, was among the most vocal, creating a rallying cry to denounce the Fab Five and their style of basketball.
Webber and his teammates didn't win either Championship, comely very close to a title in their 2nd attempt against North Carolina in which is unfortunately remembered by Chris signaling for an ill-fated time out late in the game (a timeout the team didn't have and allowed the Tar Heels to shoot a couple technical foul shots to ice the game). To use proper hindsight, though, without Webber and his efforts in that game Michigan would not have even had a chance to win in those last fateful minutes.
The Orlando Magic drafted Webber as the 1st pick in the draft the next year and he was eventually traded to the Golden State Warriors that same draft night. His NBA career included playoff runs with the Warriors, Washington Bullets (now the Wizards), Philadelphia 76'ers and the Detroit Pistons. His most notable chance for an NBA championship occured with the Sacremento Kings, making it to the 7th game of the Western Conference Finals before bowing out to the Los Angeles Lakers. The next year after that titlerun,Webber suffered a severe injury to his leg, needing micro-fracture surgery to repair it and was never the same player.
Chris Webber is widely considered one of the best passing big men to ever play the game, Personally, I will miss watching is basketball flair on the court. Luckily, I have some tapes of his days with the Fab Five to remind me of how great he was.
Once again, thank you Chris and good luck in your future endeavors.