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Webber brings smile, low expectations to Tahoe

Chris Webber is in Tahoe to have fun. The Sacramento Kings power forward is making his first appearance in the American Century Celebrity Championship this week and hopes to play some golf, too.

“Hopefully, it’ll be the best golf I’ve played, which isn’t much by most people’s standards,” Webber said.

Golf is not the only thing that attracted the all-star forward to Stateline. He’s also here to take in the sights and sounds of all the other celebrities.



“Really I’m just a big fan of athletes,” the University of Michigan alum said. “I’m really happy I got to meet John Elway and coach Shanahan. I’m just enjoying it and appreciate how tough the PGA really is.”

It is a good thing that Webber is having a fun time with the tournament because his opening tee shot of the day, from the 10th tee, resembled a chip shot more than a drive.




Webber and Charles Barkley have something in common, other than basketball, their golf games. He is excited about the prospect of being paired with the former Houston Rocket later in the tournament.

“Oh to be paired with someone I could beat,” Webber said with a smile. “My main problem as is with everybody is consistency with the short game. My long ball is always going right, so I have to compensate for that until I can fix it.”

As a veteran of three different NBA teams, Webber knows what it takes to be a successful franchise, especially in the highly competitive Pacific Division. The Kings took eventual world champion Los Angeles Lakers to a fifth game before losing to them in the first round.

“I don’t think we can come back with the same team and win (next year),” Webber said. “We do have to improve in certain areas to keep up with the Orlandos.”

The number of big-name free agents on the market this off-season will change the complexion of many teams. One of those highly sought after players is Webber’s former Wolverine teammate, Jalen Rose.

Rose, currently a Indiana Pacer, is shopping himself around the league and Webber is sure that Rose will fit into wherever he ends up.

“I hope that he ends somewhere he wants to be and is happy,” said Webber as the crowd of autograph seekers shouted Sacramento, hoping the two would reunite again next season.

When asked if the Lakers are a dynasty in the making, Webber had one quick response: “I think that they need a power forward.”

Does that mean Webber would like to don the purple and gold in the future? Only he can tell you for sure.


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