Before Friday afternoon, former Kings icon Chris Webber and TV play-by-play man/radio host Grant Napear never would have been confused for being best friends. After Friday afternoon’s radio show call-in by Webber, they might have trouble being in the same room again.
Grant Napear and Chris Webber have had a rocky relationship for quite some time – which in my humble opinion, was started after Webber was traded to Philadelphia in 2005. Napear, know for his loud mouth split personality on radio as opposed to his company man persona on TV had some brash views on Webber after the trade, though, that seemingly became a trend after players from the glory years began to depart. Though, few outside of Webber continued to have such a strained relationship with Napear.
For those that missed the call, you can listen to it here and form your own opinions of the mishap, but for me? Despite his misinformation on the subject, Chris Webber wasn’t wrong for what he did during the call-in, at all.
The scenario started during TNT’s national broadcast of the Black Thursday game in which Cheryl Miller interviewed Mayor Kevin Johnson about the past week’s Sacramento City Council vote, which despite being “voted down” – actually meant it was in the Kings favor. Of course, Miller (and her brother Reggie Miller) along with Webber were all confused by this terminology and all went on to talk about the vote in a light that was negative for the Kings, something it clearly wasn’t as the 5-4 vote helped keep the Kings destiny in Sacramento.
For Webber, he clearly seemed confused and simply misinformed. That’s not meant as an excuse for CWebb – sure, in a perfect world, we’d have hoped he had as much knowledge of the scenario as we obsessed fans do – but for somebody who works across country, who’s told the vote was “shot down” and leads as busy a life as Webber – the mistake, while incredibly ill-timed given the national exposure, is acceptable. Reggie Miller on the other hand, who, unlike Chris, continued to pop off about the situation – even going as far as calling Mayor Johnson a liar and saying he had to spin the situation – deserves much more criticism than Webber who simply seemed genuinely confused.
In an attempt to rectify the situation, Webber called into Napear’s show Friday afternoon in hopes of setting the record straight, where immediately upon attempting to do so – Napear (in his ever-so notorious way) pounced on the former Kings star, demanding Webber essentially apologize for his blunder, which sent Chris into a well deserved rant.
Yes, as I said before, in a perfect world CWebb would have known the in’s and out’s of the vote – but I’ve seen a magnitude of King fans and outside media who were just as confused by the vote as he was. Chris has went out of his way during this entire process of the potential relocation to get Sacramento’s name out in the media and masses. Webber attempted to put together an ownership group in case of a Maloof sale. Webber has pleaded countless times on TV and radio for the Kings to remain in Sacramento – the lists of his attempts go on and on. Have they been worthwhile? Have they been effective? I guess that’s in the eye of the beholder – but for those who continue to bash Webber, I ask you this: Where’s Peja? Where’s Mitch? Where’s Bibby? Where’s Vlade? That’s not a knock on them or any efforts they may or may not have had behind the scenes, but to blast Webber who seemingly appears to be one of the only former members of the black and purple to put any serious effort into keeping the Kings in Sacramento? That’s terrible. That’s not what King fans are about.
Fans who’ve blasted him should know better. Grant should know better. Despite his misinformation, Chris is trying to do the right thing – trying to help the franchise, the city, out of dark days. Yes, he made a mistake – but that shouldn’t change the fact that out of any former player, he’s worked his ass off getting Sacramento in the spotlight and the topic should be the credit he deserves for that.