Basketball

Chris Webber back with Warriors

Free-agent forward Chris Webber re-signed Tuesday with the Golden State Warriors, his first professional team.

Free-agent forward Chris Webber re-signed Tuesday with the Golden State Warriors, his first professional team.

Contract terms were not disclosed.

Webber, 34, hasn't played in the NBA since the Detroit Pistons were eliminated in six games by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference finals last spring.

He has averaged 20.8 points, 9.8 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 1.5 blocked shots and 37.3 minutes in 822 games (819 starts) since he turned pro with Golden State.

"It is with great pride and humility that I announce my return to the Golden State Warriors, the place where it all started," Webber said.

Webber was named the NBA's rookie of the year following a banner season with the Warriors, who acquired him from Orlando in a draft-day trade on June 30, 1993.

The Magic drafted him first overall and promptly peddled his negotiating rights to Golden State for Anfernee (Penny) Hardaway and three first-round picks.

"He will be a nice addition to our team, and provide additional depth to our front court and an added veteran presence on the floor," Warriors executive vice-president Chris Mullin said.

Webber performed well for Golden State, but he clashed so often with Warriors head coach Don Nelson that the team shipped him to the Washington Bullets for Tom Gugliotta and three first-rounders on Nov. 17, 1994.

Yet Nelson was the person pushing hardest to bring Webber back, pointing out: "I will get along with anybody who can help our team."

"He is one of the best passing big men to ever play the game," Nelson said. "That is going to really help us.

"He is going to increase our team IQ. He is a very smart player.

"And he is another big man [who] makes us one more deep all along the roster. I think it is going to work out great."

"In playing for Nellie before, I know how much fun his style of ball can be," Webber said.

Webber spent four seasons with Washington before being sent to the Sacramento Kings for Mitch Richmond and Otis Thorpe on May 14, 1998.

He was traded to the the Philadelphia 76ers, along with Michael Bradley and Matt Barnes, for Kenny Thomas, Corliss Williamson and Brian Skinner on Feb. 23, 2005.

Webber signed a free-agent contract with Detroit last Jan. 16.

With files from the Associated Press

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