After 1992, college basketball was never the same. Five kids from Michigan got together and decided they were going to rock baggy shorts, play with some major swag, and take the game by storm. It was also the year Nike released one of its most unconventional sneakers of all time, the Air Flight Huarache. The baddest shoes for the baddest squad. And Chris Webber was the main reason we still talk about that team today.
You can make all the timeout jokes you want, but Webber still remains as one of the most influential college hoops players of all time and turned tragedy into triumph by creating a legacy worthy of Hall of Fame recognition in the NBA. His Draft Day trade with Penny Hardaway is still one of the most blockbuster moves in the history of the game. His Freshman campaign at Golden State landed him his own Nike sneaker, put him at the top of jersey sales when the league already had so many iconic stars, and his game was just as on point as the persona.
For all the drama that surrounded him, it’s still his years with the Kings and Jason Williams that stand out most. They never were able to get past a stacked Lakers’ lineup and get a ring, but watching them battle in the playoffs every year was one of the reasons the NBA was doing just fine without Mike in his prime.
Happy birthday, C. Webb. And yes, I still rock baggy shorts and black Nike socks to this day because of The Fab Five.