Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Webber hails a 'Big Yellow Taxi'

If only we had all listened to Joni Mitchell...or even Adam Duritz, for all of you youngsters. 'Big Yellow Taxi' is the kind of song that creeps up on you, wraps itself around your head, and clouds your judgement until you realize you've been singing the last three choruses without even noticing. Don't worry, I won't tell anyone, I'm your friend.

"Don’t it always seem to go
That you don't know what you’ve got
‘Til it's gone"

You didn't just sing that lyric did you?? Well I'm sure you are wondering what the hell this has to do with Chris Webber. Well, you see, Chris Webber is a former Washington Bullet/Wizard. And he was back in Chocolate City to take on his former team last night. Chris Webber is one of those players that has been around the block, was a stud in the early days, and has had his fare share of disappointments and unfulfilled potential (Not even including the "incident" when on April 5, 1993, Webber infamously called a time-out with 11 seconds left in the game when his team, only behind by three points, did not have any remaining resulting in a technical foul that effectively clinched the game for North Carolina.)

That is the big one, but Webber has been in plenty of disappointing situations since then. I mean, sure he put up some nice stats. But consider the following: he was driven out of Golden State after winning Rookie of the Year, he was asked to leave Washington after off-court troubles, and after being traded to Sacramento he drew controversy from fans through his large salary, frequent injuries, and the team's overall good performance while he was on the bench.

Not only was his career limited, he had a litany of legal troubles including assault charges, resisting arrest, possession of marijuana, and driving under the influence of marijuana. While leaving Puerto Rico on a promotional tour for Fila sneakers, Webber paid a $500 fine after U.S. Customs found 11 grams of marijuana in his bag. Soon after Fila dropped Webber as an endorser.

Sure Chris Webber is a multimillionaire and made a living PLAYING a SPORT. But the promise, the potential, all of the "what should have beens". Haven't you had similar thoughts about your own life. I know you haven't lost an endorsement deal for flying with weed (right? right??!?). But like me, you probably wish you had done things just a little differently: kept a few connections a little tighter, made a point to see some (former) friends before the relationships died from inactivity, worked a little harder at a job, or got up just a little earlier. Even Chris Webber knows things are fleeting in this life and you should never take anything for granted. Webber was quoted about his former team (who happens to be young, confident, maybe even cocky) stating:

"Cherish it," Webber said. "My advice to them is cherish the core they have. Being on a team like this, where you're all young and everybody gets along, it doesn't happen a lot. I know."

"I thought it would last, that's what I thought," said Harvey Grant referring to Webber's time on the Bullets, Webber's teammate then and now a Wizards assistant coach. "Those guys were so young and good. When I see these (new) guys, I think: 'Try to stay together and enjoy it. Don't let this moment pass because it may never come again.' "

Sure this is a sports analogy, and who really needs another sports analogy to provide words of wisdom. But don't forget what its like to be young, full of potential and positive energy, ready to take on the world. Or have lingering doubts, unchanged routines, and perceived shackles already got you down? Just listen to Mr. Webber:

"And so my advice would be to them: Cherish this moment and make the most of this."

Chris Webber and Joni Mitchell, connected by a similar thought. The next time you catch yourself singing the song...think of C-Webb.

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