Basketball

Chris Webber retires from NBA

Golden State Warriors forward Chris Webber confirmed Wednesday that he is retiring because of chronic knee problems.

Golden State Warriors forward Chris Webber confirmed Wednesday that he has retired.

Webber, 35, played only nine games this season because of chronic knee problems.

"I just felt it was time to let the game go, and to be happy with what I accomplished without trying to keep coming back," he said.

Prior to rejoining the Warriors on Jan. 29, Webber hadn't played since the Detroit Pistons lost in six games to the Cleveland Cavaliers in last spring's Eastern Conference finals.

"People say you have got go to until the wheels fall off," he said. "Well, my wheel fell off.

"I went all the way until the end. I'm happy with that."

Webber posted impressive statistics, averaging 20.7 points, 9.8 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 1.4 blocked shots, 1.4 steals and 37.3 minutes in 831 games (827 starts) since turning pro with Golden State.

But the pain in his left knee simply became too much to bear.

"I really did not want to rehab and come back this season because I did not think that was possible," he said. "Plus, because the way the team is playing, the chemistry is great with these guys, they're on a roll.

"I feel like they're going to win. They have a great chance to go very far in the playoffs."

Banner rookie season

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.

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.

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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