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View Full Version : O'Brien details clashes with Webber (SI.com)



avoidingtheclowns
01-22-2008, 12:55 AM
O'Brien details clashes with Webber

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Chris Webber (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/basketball/nba/players/1272) never really fit in Philadelphia, dissatisfied with his role, the offensive system and all the losing in nearly two ill-fated years with the 76ers.

Former coach Jim O'Brien saw all the unhappiness early in Webber's tenure, shortly after the former All-Star forward was acquired from Sacramento near the 2005 trade deadline.

"He clearly was toward the end of his career," O'Brien said Monday.

O'Brien, now in his first year coaching Indiana, was fired after only one season in Philadelphia. Webber played 21 games for the Sixers that year, but rarely hid his distaste about playing for O'Brien. The pair clashed almost from the beginning and Webber called the final 21 games "timeout times 50," a reference to his infamous gaffe at Michigan in the 1993 national championship game.

"It became very apparent he wasn't going to give the 76ers everything we had hoped for," O'Brien said.

Speaking openly about Webber for the first time since he was fired at the end of 2005, O'Brien said before Indiana's game at Philadelphia that the forward was never interested in practice or truly committed to the offensive scheme.

"Webber didn't practice at all that year prior to coming to us," O'Brien said. "He didn't practice at all the previous six weeks. I think he was just at the point where he didn't necessarily feel where he was in need of practice, or could practice, or couldn't practice and play at the same time."

O'Brien said he wanted to actively use Webber, who had lost some mobility and agility after microfracture knee surgery, in the low post to open up shots for 3-point threat Kyle Korver (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/basketball/nba/players/3754).

"He said, 'Coach, I don't do the low-post thing anymore,"' O'Brien recalled.

"We just made a major trade to bring in this 6-11 guy and he said, 'No.' I said, 'Yes, you do."'

Webber's unhappiness forced him to meet with O'Brien to express his grievances with his role. O'Brien was fired three weeks after the Sixers were eliminated by Detroit in the playoffs -- the organization's last playoff appearance -- and replaced by former Sixer Maurice Cheeks.

Cheeks is coaching the final year of a three-year contract.

"I just think it would have been a very difficult group to coach the following year, quite frankly," O'Brien said. "I'm just glad Maurice Cheeks had that opportunity instead of me."

Webber bounced back under Cheeks in 2005-06 with solid averages of 20.2 points, 9.9 rebounds and 3.4 assists in 75 games. But he fell out of favor with Cheeks early last season, was benched in several fourth quarters and accepted a contract buyout in January.

He finished last season with Detroit.

O'Brien said he agreed at the time with then-team president Billy King's decision to acquire Webber.

"That move enabled us to make the playoffs," O'Brien said.

O'Brien, a Philadelphia native who played for Saint Joseph's, sat at home the last two years and collected the nearly $8 million owed to him by the Sixers. He is glad he earned another chance in Indiana.

"I was hoping I'd get another opportunity and I did," O'Brien said. "I've always been a Philadelphia fan. I hope they turn that franchise around."

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/basketball/nba/01/21/obrien.webber.ap/index.html

McKeyFan
01-22-2008, 12:42 PM
way to listen to Webber, Sixers. lol

Let's hope our management has finally learned not to coddle the prima-donnas.

Since86
01-22-2008, 12:54 PM
way to listen to Webber, Sixers. lol

Let's hope our management has finally learned not to coddle the prima-donnas.

After last week's is he suspended, is he just injured debacle, I doubt that's ever going to happen.

Anthem
01-22-2008, 01:19 PM
Interesting that he would say this now.

jeffg-body
01-22-2008, 01:28 PM
He might be able to hook up with a nice team.........in the WNBA.

VF21
01-22-2008, 04:04 PM
Okay, I'm not exactly totally unbiased about this but with that proviso in mind, WTF is this about? I would think O'Brien might just want to address the myriad of problems he's got right now instead of dumping on Chris Webber.

For the record, in case some of you have forgotten, Webb was the reigning PLAYER OF THE MONTH for the WC when he was traded. He has NEVER refused to practice but he was still somewhat limited in knowing how his knee would react on any given day. On those days he would limit his full contact practice so he could be productive in the game. And he was in more than just a little pain a lot of the time.

Yes, Chris Webber had strong feelings about his possible role with the team and the best way to utilize him but I think the neurotic accountant trying to act as coach needed to put his own ego aside just a bit. He didn't and the entire episode in Philadelphia was more than ugly for all concerned.

As far as the whole "low post" option was concerned, Webb was being pretty honest. He no longer had the mobility you really need to have in the low post to be productive. And any team getting him should have been aware of it.

This looks a lot to me like petty whining and finger pointing and an attempt to put blame on someone other than himself for his (O'Brien's) abysmal time as head coach of the Sixers.

This sounds like the cry of a quitter to me:


"I just think it would have been a very difficult group to coach the following year, quite frankly," O'Brien said. "I'm just glad Maurice Cheeks had that opportunity instead of me."Anybody - well figuratively speaking - can coach a team without problems. The proof of the pudding is in finding a coach who can get the team to rise above the problems, something O'Brien clearly knows less than nothing about...

/end rant

d_c
01-22-2008, 04:20 PM
This sounds like the cry of a quitter to me:

Anybody - well figuratively speaking - can coach a team without problems. The proof of the pudding is in finding a coach who can get the team to rise above the problems, something O'Brien clearly knows less than nothing about...

/end rant

Jim O'brien is a very good coach. He got a team with Paul Pierce and Antoine Walker (most maligned all-star player in recent memory) along with a bunch of old sneakers and spare parts to the eastern conference finals. He obviously got that team to rise above the problem of not having that much talent.

He got fired by the 76ers. He didn't quit on them. The quitting part for O'brien came when he resigned on Danny Ainge during the start of Ainge's rebuilding campaign in Boston, of which JOB wanted no part of.

RamBo_Lamar
01-22-2008, 04:25 PM
It was just another episode in a long history of episodes where Chris Webber
showed that he was perhaps the biggest chronic career crybaby in NBA
history.

CableKC
01-22-2008, 05:01 PM
Anyone else see the irony in JO'B coaching CWebb ( a player that had limited mobility that ultimately affected his game ) and the current version of JONeal ( who has issues with mobility throughout the season that may affect the rest of his career )?

JayRedd
01-22-2008, 05:23 PM
Anyone else see the irony in JO'B coaching CWebb ( a player that had limited mobility that ultimately affected his game ) and the current version of JONeal ( who has issues with mobility throughout the season that may affect the rest of his career )?

It's like rain on your wedding day. Don't you think?

rexnom
01-22-2008, 05:42 PM
It's like rain on your wedding day. Don't you think?
I don't know...it's more like a coincidence. Also, rain on your wedding day is just a bad event...nothing else really.

Doug
01-22-2008, 05:44 PM
I don't know...it's more like a coincidence. Also, rain on your wedding day is just a bad event...nothing else really.

Maybe it's more like a free ride when you've already paid?

avoidingtheclowns
01-22-2008, 05:46 PM
either way... who would've thought... it figures...

Naptown_Seth
01-22-2008, 06:03 PM
Interesting that he would say this now.
I hope it's just the timing of a game in Philly and natural that they would ask about any issues that were openingly going on at the time he was there. But a connection to JO is tough to overlook. Hopefully those two are on the same page.

Whatever JO's health situation I think JOB could deal with it as long as it was discussed and communication was clear.


Man, I really need a :) but all I've got is a bunch of :D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D
What an ironic turn of events.

(we are going with the standard pop star definition of irony=crap luck, right?)

CableKC
01-22-2008, 07:39 PM
It's like rain on your wedding day. Don't you think?


Maybe it's more like a free ride when you've already paid?


either way... who would've thought... it figures...

Good God...you guys kill me......:rolleyes: :suicide4:

:laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh:

CableKC
01-22-2008, 07:47 PM
I hope it's just the timing of a game in Philly and natural that they would ask about any issues that were openingly going on at the time he was there. But a connection to JO is tough to overlook. Hopefully those two are on the same page.

Whatever JO's health situation I think JOB could deal with it as long as it was discussed and communication was clear.
My first thought when I read this was that I can totally see that JO'B is asking JONeal to do something that IMHO he doesn't really want to do......focus more on rebounding/defense ( which may be diffuclt and result in taking more bump and bruises ) and less on the offensive end...something that I do not think that he is entirely happy about.

Let's face facts.......rebounding and defending the paint while scoring 10+ points doesn't get you mentioned in SportCenter, but scoring 20 points and pulling down 15 rebounds ( even if it's on 44% shooting ) puts you on TV.

This goes back to the "ego" thing about JONeal that I have always thought that he has.....I can only guess how a Top Notch Star like JONeal can react when he is asked to essentially not "Be the Man" but to step back and let others "Be the Man" while he just steps back and does the "dirty work".