18

So … It Wasn’t Just Ribs!

Apparently, the Warriors are “seriously interested” in C-Webb. We’re running an article in Saturday’s paper that the Warriors are in talks with Webber, confirmed by team sources.
One of them thinks the two parties are even close to reaching an agreement.
Webber’s top choice is perhaps the Pistons, as he wants to contend for a title and Detroit has the best chances of reaching the Finals of the teams interested. But my colleague Chris McCoskey of the Detroit News, wrote on his blog that Joe Dumars refuses to buy out one of his current players to make room for Webber. The only way Webber gets on the squad is if Dumars trades Flip Murray or Primoz Brezec.
Plus, word on the street is that Dumars isn’t too convinced Webber hasn’t changed his ways. Webber was not the consumate locker room guy when his playing time wasn’t what he wanted.
With Detroit unlikely, Webber’s options are narrowed to the West (maybe Boston gets in the mix).
The Lakers, another team considered a serious contender, have an open roster spot and have also reportedly offered Webber a one-year contract for the veteran minimum. Supposedly Denver has interest in Webber, too. So the Warriors have some competition.
The Warriors have a full complement of 15 players, so to make room for Webber on the roster, they might need to rid of someone. The only one non-guaranteed player, rookie guard C.J. Watson, whose second 10-day deal expires on Monday, perhaps has been too impressive to cut.
“We’re feeling good about him,” Mullin said Thursday. So the odd man out may be guard Troy Hudson, who’s out for the season after hip surgery.
The Times also learned that Webber and Nellie have talked it out, trying to put their past feud behind them. No word yet on whether they’ve hugged it out.
Asked Thursday if he and Webber would be able co-exist if they worked together again, Nelson wouldn’t answer directly.
“Let’s talk about that not in anticipation of something happening or not, let’s talk about it after the fact,” Nelson said. “After it happens, that will be a good question.”

13

Ribs yes, Webber no

So shootaround was spent chasing down the latest Chris Webber-returning-to-the-Warriors rumor, which was spawned by Marty McNeal’s report in the Sacramento Bee that Don Nelson had been spotted chowing down at C-Webb’s restaurant.

Nelson copped to noshing at Webber’s place — he pulled in with assistant Larry Riley when a Warriors contingent went up to Sacramento to scout the Memphis Grizzlies, who played the Kings on Jan. 10 and the Warriors the following night. But he wouldn’t comment on any theoretical reunion with Webber, who won the 1993-94 NBA Rookie of the Year award before falling out with Nelson and eventually being dealt to the Washington Bullets.

“You need to talk to Mully about those situations,” Nelson said. “You can talk to me about the ribs. Best in Northern California. Unbelievable, juicy. I got the barbecue and a baked potato and a couple of beers. Or it could have been scotches.”

Was Webber at the grill?

“No, he wasn’t there,” Nelson said. “That’s the other funny thing.”

Heeding Nelson’s instructions, executive vice president Chris Mullin was next. Just before signing point guard C.J. Watson, Mullin said that he was keeping his eyes open in the short-term for a guard and a big man. With Watson working out nicely, that leaves room for a center, no?

“We’re going to look at a lot of different things,” Mullin said. “A big guy with skill, yeah, that’s something we could use.”

At 34 years old and having been out of the league for eight months, does Webber still fit that bill?

“That’s debatable,” Mullin said. “I can’t say what he’s got left. I couldn’t elaborate on that.”

Last January, when Webber was bought out by the Philadelphia 76ers, Nelson said it would probably be a bad idea to have him re-team with the five-time All-Star.

It’s not any better of an idea now. I can’t imagine Webber would be able to keep up with this team’s pace, and he certainly doesn’t want to be stuck in the low post, which is where the Warriors could use the most help from any new big man. I don’t doubt that the Warriors have kicked around Webber’s name in discussing what players might help them, but as shown by Watson signing, the team is more likely to bring in a younger guy on the way up than a veteran with a high probability of getting hurt.

In short, if you want a Nellie/C-Webb reunion, by a Run-TMC DVD.

– Geoff