ORIGINALLY POSTED FEBRUARY 15, 2009
NOTE: All statistics were recovered using basketball-reference.com. Statistics are accurate as of Feb. 16, 2009. Certain statistical categories were not kept track of until later into the game's history.
Is Chris Webber a Hall of Famer? It's hard to say. Webber was drafted first overall in the 1993 NBA draft, voted the 93-94 Rookie of the Year, and made the All-Rookie first team. In 14 seasons that would follow (13 seasons if you choose not to count the 9 games he played in 07-08 season before calling it quits), Webber would make 5 All-NBA teams and play in 5 All-Star Games.
I can't think of a player who presents a HOF case as interesting as C-Webbs' -- it's teetering on the edge.
He averaged 20-10 (20.7 points, 9.8 rebounds to be exact) over his career -- a feat achieved by few (see below). Career averages of 1+ blocks and 1+ steals per game aren't as unheard of (C-Webb averaged 1.4 in both categories) but to do so in addition to 20-10? That's incredibly rare. (see slightly further below)
Before you begin to talk about if/how he performed in the clutch or what his post-season play was like (he's mssing some jewelry), there's another, more prevailing hurdle to be faced. I think Webber personifies the NBA superstar transitioning from the 90s to the 2000s. Not because he played roughly the first half of his career in the 90s and the latter half in the new millenium (although that is a cute touch) but because he was a very unique kind of supertstar -- at least statisically speaking. He wasn't quite a traditional 90s PF (like Malone, Sir Charles, David Robinson, etc.) nor was he the jack of all trade's SF/PF/C we're accustomed to today (KG, Shawn Marion, Lebron, etc.). He was in an "in-betweener".
He averaged 20-10 but he was never an overwhelming force on the boards or a big-time shot blocker (although his game appeared to be headed in that direction in the strike-shortened 98-99 season). He averaged 4 assists, 1 steal and 1 block per game but he shot just 65% from the foul line. He's not an easy guy to label, and I think that hurts him more than almost anything else.
Well, I'll leave the rest to you. I don't want to look too closely at his post-season play, or how he performed in the clutch, because I don't think that's what people associate C-Webb with. Sacramento's championship aspirations were dashed more than once by some unbelievable L.A. teams (most notably when the Kings fell to LA in Game 7 of the 2002 Western Conference finals) but I don't know if the voters think about the [very] GOOD teams you were on or the times you ALMOST made it... He wasn't a NBA champion and he's better remembered for calling a time out at the end of the NCAA championship game than for any positive clutch moments as a pro. His best bet for enshrinement are his numbers.
Chris Webber's career stat line:
ALL-TIME RANKS, AVERAGES: 20.7 PPG (45th all-time), 47.9 FG% (235th), 64.9 FT%, 9.8 REB (55th), 4.2 AST (140th; great for a big man), 2.8 TOV, 1.4 BLK (49th), 1.4 STL (42nd)
ALL-TIME RANKS, TOTALS: 76th for POINTS, 63rd for REBOUNDS, 48th for BLOCKS, 75th for STEALS
And just how exclusive is the 20-10 club?...
PLAYER NAME - POINTS PER GAME, REBOUNDS PER GAME, FT%
Sorted by Points Per Game
1. Wilt Chamberlain* - 30.07, 22.89, 51.1%
2. Elgin Baylor* - 27.36, 13.55, 78%
3. Bob Pettit* - 26.36, 16.22, 76.1%
4. Karl Malone - 25.02, 10.14, 74.2%
5. Shaquille O’Neal - 24.91, 11.35, 52.7%
6. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar* - 24.61, 11.18, 72.1%
7. Larry Bird* - 24.29, 10.00, 88.6%
8. George Mikan* - 23.13, 13.4, 78.2%
9. Dan Issel* ~ 22.56, 9.1, 79.3%
10. Charles Barkley* - 22.14, 11.69, 73.5%
11. Bob McAdoo* ~ 22.05, 9.45, 75.4%
12. Hakeem Olajuwon* - 21.77, 11.10, 71.2%
13. Tim Duncan - 21.55, 11.75, 68.5%
14. Bill Cunningham* - 21.18, 10.36, 79.6%
15. David Robinson - 21.06, 10.64, 73.6%
16. Patrick Ewing* ~ 20.98, 9.81, 74%
17. Elvin Hayes* - 20.96, 12.49, 67%
18. CHRIS WEBBER ~ 20.68, 9.78, 64.9%
19. Moses Malone* - 20.68, 12.26, 76%
20. Spencer Haywood – 20.27, 10.28, 79.6%
21. Kevin Garnett - 20.22, 11.11, 78.2%
22. George McGinnis – 20.20, 10.97, 66.4%
23. Walt Bellamy* - 20.08, 13.65, 63.2%
24. Bob Lanier* - 20.07, 10.11, 76.7%
25. Elton Brand ~ 19.99, 10.14, 73.6%
* - indicates NBA Hall of Famer
~ - indicates that player falls slightly short of 20 points per game and/or 10 rebounds per game
The '20-10 Club' put into perspective:
77 players have career averages of at least 9.00 rebounds per game.
46 players have career averages of at least 10.00 rebounds per game.
61 players have career averages of at least 19.75 points per game.
58 players have career averages of at least 20.00 points per game.
Now to narrow it down a little further...
As I said before, C-Webb averaged 1.4 steals and 1.4 blocks per game over the course of his career. Of the other '20-10' club members, only the following averaged at least 1.37 steals per game: George McGinnis, Hakeem Olajuwon, Larry Bird, Charles Barkley, Karl Malone, David Robinson, Kevin Garnett. And of those 7, only Hakeem Olajuwon, David Robinson and Kevin Garnett have career averages of 1 or more blocks per game.
58 players have career averages of at least 1.3 blocks per game.
55 players have career averages of at least 1.25 steals per game.
C-Webb also averaged 4.24 assists per game. The only '20-10' members with averages of 4 or more assists per game are: Billy Cunningham (4.29), Kevin Garnett (4.31), Elgin Baylor (4.31), and Wilt Chamberlain (4.4).
154 players have career averages of at least 4.0 assists per game.