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Click here for more on this story
Posted: Tuesday July 10, 2001 5:28 PM

Webber Sweepstakes  

It's good to be a king

By Phil Taylor

Sports Illustrated Memo to: Free agent Chris Webber

From: An unbiased observer

Re: Five reasons you should re-sign with the Kings

1. You have a smart general manager. Geoff Petrie unloaded loose cannon point guard Jason Williams on the Grizzlies and got steady Mike Bibby in return. Steals like that are why Petrie is one of the best in the business. He finds a way to improve your supporting cast every year, with pickups like Bibby, Doug Christie and Bobby Jackson, and he was sharp enough to deal aging Mitch Richmond for you back in '98. That kind of savvy makes it likely that you'll be on a contender for a long while.

2. The media won't devour you. Don't you like having only one full-time newspaper beat writer to deal with in Sacramento? In New York City half of Manhattan is in the locker room with a press pass. If you played as poorly for the Knicks in a playoff series as you did against the Lakers last May, that pack would roast you all summer.

3. There's no such thing as a small market -- at least in terms of endorsement potential. The days when great players in lesser cities went unnoticed are long gone. With 24-hour sports channels and satellite television, every star is a national star. Playing in Sacramento didn't stop Williams from having one of the league's hottest-selling replica jerseys, and Shaquille O'Neal was well-known when he played in Orlando. Go deep into the playoffs and you'll be pitching candy bars before you know it.

4. You get to run.The Kings' Rick Adelman is one of the few coaches who doesn't go into cardiac arrest when his team runs a fast break. With the Kings, you can fill the lane on the break and even show off your passing skills in transition. You think you'll do much of that in, say, Miami?

5. You da man. As long as you're a King, there will never be any questions about top billing. Do you really want to go to Detroit, for instance, and wrestle Jerry Stackhouse for the ball? Ask Allen Iverson how much fun that was.

It's understandable that you want to take some time to think before you make your next career move, C-Webb. What we don't understand is, What's there to think about?

Issue date: July 16, 2001

For more Scorecard see this week's issue of Sports Illustrated, on newsstands Wednesday, July 11. Click here to subscribe to SI.

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