Hall of Famer Chris Webber Reveals He Wanted to Team Up With Kobe Bryant at Lakers Instead of Moving to Kings

Published 09/13/2021, 1:43 AM EDT
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – JUNE 12: Kobe Bryant, Lindsey Hunter and Shaquille O’Neal of the Los Angeles Lakers celebrate following Game Four of the NBA Finals against the New Jersey Nets on June 12, 2002 at Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Sporting News via Getty Images via Getty Images)


Five-time NBA All-Star selection Chris Webber has recently been inducted into the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame. The former Sacramento Kings’ power forward is a part of the class of 2021. He joined Sacramento Kings in 1998 and spent seven seasons with them. However, he has revealed that he wanted to join the Los Angeles Lakers instead of the Sacramento Kings.

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Chris Webber wanted Los Angeles Lakers in 1998, instead of the Sacramento Kings

Chris Webber has revealed the destination he wanted in 1998 when he was leaving Washington Wizards. Despite being a talented power forward, during his early years, he didn’t have a good relationship with Washington Wizards. Webber originally didn’t want to be traded to the Sacramento Kings and has said that Los Angeles was his preferred destination that summer.

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“They wanted to banish me to Sacramento,” Webber told Jason Jones of The Athletic. “That’s what that was.”

“I thought there was going to be a trade for Elden Campbell, Eddie Jones, and Nick Van Exel for me,” Webber said. “I wanted to go there.”

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Chris Webber didn’t get his preferred team during the summer of 1998, but he settled in well in Sacramento and his best years followed him. In fact, Sacramento performed better with Webber on their side. Before Webber’s arrival, the Kings had qualified for the playoffs just twice (1985 and 1996).

But Webber led the Kings to five straight playoffs.

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However, the Lakers became a dominant force during that time and won a three-peat with Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant on their side. Webber came close to handing the Kings their second championship in 2002. Unfortunately, the Lakers stood in their way and beat them 4-3 in the Western Conference Finals. Webber’s impact was huge on the Kings, and since 2006, they have never qualified for the playoffs.

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Abhishek Singh

117 articles

Abhishek is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports with over two years of journalistic experience with Chase Your Sport and Dribl. A Football Management graduate, he has previously interned in the Indian Super League, I-League and the AFC Champions League. In addition to being a Michael Jordan fan, Abhishek is an ardent Steph Curry and Warriors guy, and believes they have a few more championships in store before the former retires.

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