Posted by: Kingsguru21 | September 9, 2009

Kelly Dwyer has a top 10 “most impact” injury list

Chris Webber is not 1st on this. To say I respect KD is an understatement, and to say I think he’s the best national writer of anyone out there, again, is an understatement.

The man knows his shit.

That all being said, and I probably should send him an email how I feel, but I won’t because I’m not that cranky or need the attention, I can’t agree with Webber being 3rd.

That’s not me being emotional. Webber and the Kings would have destroyed the Mavericks in the series had Webber managed to not crumple into a heap. Worse than that, it also cost the Kings far more as a franchise who had a healthy franchise-ish level player at a high cost.

Kenny Thomas, Corliss Williamson and Brian Skinner (who became Sergei Monia and Vitaly Potapenko) was the end result of that trade.

I know KD isn’t stupid, and he’s well aware of this, but I have 2 problems with Hill and Arenas being ahead of Webber on this list.

With regards to Arenas, his career isn’t done yet. We don’t know how his story will end, and like Yao (who was lower on the list), I personally hope for a recovery. A healthy Arenas & Yao is tremendous for the NBA for a variety of reason’s.

More than that though, Arenas was signed under different circumstances than Webber was. Webber was 28 years old, and was 30 years old when he had his injury. Until Webber came back, very few athletes (including Penny Hardaway) even showed some semblance of recovery from micro-fracture surgery.

More than that, even, the Kings were well on their way towards contending for a championship in 2003. (I think KD chose to overlook that. Why i don’t know.) If Webber doesn’t go down, I think the Kings win a ring. I can’t guarantee that given the performance of the 2002 Western Conference Finals (missing FT’s during a game 7 and blowing a 14 pt lead is not a way to convince me you were absolute locks to win anything).

Here’s the thing (and another thing KD knows–this guy doesn’t do stupid): The Kings were better in the 2002-03 season! It wasn’t the addition of Keon Clark, Damon Jones or Jimmy Jackson (even though Doug Collins liked it) that did it. It was that Webber was a better player than he had ever been up to that point. (Remember he missed the early chunk of the 01-02 season. Sometimes I think fans forget that.)

If you look at stats, they don’t tell the whole story. Definitely not in Webber’s case. He had better rebounding numbers the lockout season of ’99, better scoring numbers in the 00-01 season when he was up for a free agent contract, shot a better percentage the season before in 01-02.

His best season was 02-03 when he put most of it all together. He had his highest assist total for his career, played 67 games (again not his highest total–that was in 00-01 when he played 70 games), and as KD pointed out he was at his prime. The knee injury didn’t really cost him that.

It cost the Kings far more, and it cost Webber a valuable portion of his legacy. I’m not sure which is probably more important given that Webber was the most talented Kings player (which is why so many regarded him as a franchise player–which he wasn’t but I digress) the Kings have ever had. (Tyreke Evans may end up passing him, and, who knows, maybe the Kings can get another Webber level talent in the 2010 draft, too.)

I have nothing against Grant Hill, Gilbert Arenas, or Kelly Dwyer. I just think the list should have Webber first, Hill 2nd and Arenas 3rd. Why? Because as good as Arenas is, he has NEVER been as good as Hill was in his Detroit years. (Hill should have been in the Hall given his career arc prior to signing in Orlando.)

The difference between Hill, and Arenas, with Webber is that unlike Webber, Hill and Arenas had injuries when they signed their contracts. (Orlando mis-judged Hill’s injury. So did Washington with Arenas.) But, the Kings knew what they had with Webber. They knew he was a pretty good rebounder, would play 60-70 games a year if he was physically right, and was their best player. Oh, and unlike Detroit with Hill, or Orlando with Hill, Washington with Arenas, the Kings were also championship contenders.

I think the list is right, except for the fact that Yao Ming should be higher (especially given that Arenas is so high on it for almost the same reasons), and the order of the top 3 should be Webber, Hill and Arenas.

I understand this is all subjective, and I understand I’m not in the best position to write something un-emotional and detached. But, KD is a Bulls fan. He knows damn well he would feel the same way I would if the same kind of scenario happened to the Bulls.

So with all due respect to you Mr. Dwyer, you fucked up bro. Sorry.


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