The Sacramento Kings will be well represented in next year’s Hall of Fame ceremony.
Chris Webber and former head coach Rick Adelman will be inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame in 2022.
2021 Basketball Hall of Fame Class:— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 16, 2021
Players: Paul Pierce, Chris Bosh, Chris Webber, Ben Wallace; Coaches: Rick Adelman, Jay Wright, Bill Russell. WNBA: Yolanda Griffith, Lauren Jackson.
Webber had been a finalist the past five years before finally getting the nod. He spent seven seasons with the Kings and led the team to its best stretch in franchise history.
Sacramento made the playoffs each year Webber was a part of the team. The team won a franchise-record 61 games in 2001-02, reaching Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals. Injuries marred the latter part of his playing days, but Webber still managed to finish his career with impressive numbers, averaging 20.7 points and 9.8 rebounds over 15 seasons.
Webber had an amazing five-year run when he finished in the top 10 in MVP voting and was an All-NBA selection each season. He averaged 23.5 points, 10.6 rebounds and 4.8 assists during his time with the Kings.
Webber was never the same player after getting microfracture surgery in 2003. He lacked the explosiveness that made him a matchup nightmare and became more reliant on his jumper and passing abilities.
He missed the first 59 games of the 2003-04 season and wasn’t the same when he returned. His presence on the court slowed things down for a potent Kings offense. Webber ranked ninth on the team in win shares that season, just ahead of Tony Massenburg and 10th in true shooting percentage, per basketball reference.
The Kings went 44-15 without Webber in the lineup and were the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference. The team went 11-12 after he returned and fell to fourth in the standings going into the 2004 playoffs.
Sacramento would lose its second-round series in seven games to the Minnesota Timberwolves, with Webber missing a game-tying 3-pointer at the buzzer. What we didn’t know at the time was that it would be his last playoff game as a King.
The team traded Webber to the Philadelphia 76ers during the 2004-05 season as the team transitioned to be built around Peja Stojakovic, Mike Bibby, and Brad Miller, ending the greatest stretch in franchise history.
"You made it to the Hall of Fame! ... Well deserved!"@JalenRose and Chris Webber reminiscing after Webber's Hall of Fame 2021 class announcement is so special pic.twitter.com/8BU3kocAsP— ESPN (@espn) May 16, 2021
Adelman was hired as the head coach of the Kings in 1998. He went 395-229 over eight seasons with the team and led Sacramento to the playoffs every year. Adelman’s system was ahead of its time.
He implemented an offense that emphasized ball movement and precision passing. The Kings were the most entertaining team in the league when Adelman was the head coach.
The honor is well deserved for Webber and Adelman. Both men made their mark on the game and are worthy of the highest honor in basketball.
A great from the woman’s game will also be making her way into the Hall of Fame. Sacramento Monarchs legend Yolanda Griffith will also be inducted as part of next year’s class.
Griffith was the no. 2 pick by the Monarchs in 1999 and proceeded to win MVP and DPOY that season. She was an eight-time All-Star and five-time all-WNBA honoree and led Sacramento to its lone WNBA title in 2005, when she was named the Finals MVP.
For her career, Griffith is tied for 15th overall in rebounds, incidentally with fellow finalist Lauren Jackson. She also ranks 9th in WNBA history in total win shares and is a two-time Olympic gold medalist.
Congrats to all the Sacramento legends.