It's only been 21/2 years since he last danced in the NBA. He's 37 years old, but he was always in great shape and probably has something left. The Warriors should give him a call.
Why not? They're making a habit out of this blast-from-the-past business.
In their never-ending effort to capitalize off past success, specifically the early '90s, the Warriors reached into the annals and pulled out a name that doesn't rekindle a good tingle. Last week's signing of forward/center Chris Webber, certainly an antagonist in Golden State history, was the latest sign of the franchise's obvious infatuation with nostalgia.
First Chris Mullin as the executive vice president of basketball operations. Then Rod Higgins. Then Mario Ellie. Then Mitch Richmond. Then Don Nelson. Now Webber.
"It's like surreal," Webber said at Friday's press conference, trying to describe the moment. "It feels good to be back, but it's something you never would expect. I think we all felt that way. It's a good feeling, but it's really surreal."
Surreal? How about nauseating. This turn-back-the-clock stuff is getting old.
And it's not just the Warriors. Nike is bringing back practically all of its classic sneakers. Today's music is full of remixed samples from the '60s, '70s and '80s. Every other movie is a modern take on a hit of yesteryear -- from "The Exorcist" to "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" to "Batman." But this trend of
Seriously, this current crew of Warriors -- led by point guard Baron Davis, swingman Stephen Jackson and, the future, guard Monta Ellis -- is doing a stand-up job of creating new memories, breathing new life into a once-dead franchise. So what's with the commutes down memory lane?
"I remember a situation where we got probably four or five -- the rules were different at the time -- we got about four or five technicals on Dikembe Mutombo because he kept playing illegal defenses," Webber said at Friday's press conference. "So (Nellie) just had me at the top of the key dribbling and baiting him to come out so we could get the other guys open shots."
Say, doesn't that sound like your uncle telling you stories about your childhood you couldn't care less about? To be sure, the Webber signing isn't a bad move. It cost the Warriors less than $400,000, which is petty cash for a payroll well above $60 million. So if it doesn't work out, the risk was low.
Most of the concerns about Webber are minimal anyway. His conditioning, or lack thereof, isn't a big deal because Webber won't be expected to fill the lanes and catch alley-oops. He'll be the trailer who can make a play when the fast break stalls.
As far as Webber causing chaos in the locker room, Davis and Jackson will have something to say about that. It's their locker room, and there's little chance someone is going to come in and ruin their chemistry. If anything, Webber will fit well among the group of "misunderstood" and "hated on" captains.
But with that said, enough is enough. No more back-to-the-future moves. There is enough talent out there to create a bright future without the reunions. Because, No. 1, it's only a quick fix. No use in prolonging the future for an affair with history. Even if Webber works out, the Warriors will be left looking for someone to fill his position, bring what he brought to the table, and the youngsters on the roster will be robbed of valuable playing time.
Even Webber said his return was a little bit about fixing the past.
"I would say this is a basketball decision first and foremost," Webber said. "But I'd be lying if I said it didn't feel good to come back to a place where it didn't end right. Definitely."
No. 2, the good-ol'-days well the franchise keeps drawing from wasn't all that. They were fun to watch, they played an exciting style of basketball and they were charismatic figures. But they never made it past the second round of the playoffs.
If you're going to pull out any more names from the past, pull from champions. Bring in some guys who have rings from the 1974-75 season. Get big man Clifford Ray a job on the bench. Hire Butch Beard as the shooting coach. Sign Rick Barry to a 10-day.
Better yet, be progressive and creative. Warriors management has shown such traits already. No need to keep relying on old names from the glory years.
Please, the next time the Warriors need a big man, don't give Chris Gatling a call.
Contact Marcus Thompson II at firstname.lastname@example.org.