Sacramento Kings

Two men with Kings ties reportedly going to Hall of Fame, but another big name is not

Former Sacramento Kings star Chris Webber chats about his Hall of Fame chances, ex-teammate Vlade Divac

Chris Webber was in town and the former Sacramento Kings player, currently a national NBA commentator, talked about his Hall of Fame outlook and former Kings teammate Vlade Divac, now the team's general manager.
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Chris Webber was in town and the former Sacramento Kings player, currently a national NBA commentator, talked about his Hall of Fame outlook and former Kings teammate Vlade Divac, now the team's general manager.

Two men with Kings ties will reportedly receive basketball’s highest honor.

Unfortunately for one of the biggest names in the Sacramento era, he’s not one of them.

Five-time All-Star forward Chris Webber will not be enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame this year, ESPN senior NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski reports. Webber was named a finalist in February during All-Star Weekend in Charlotte, N.C.

While official announcements aren’t coming until Saturday during the NCAA Men’s Final Four, Wojnarowski began tweeting Friday night, citing sources on his posts.

So who connected to the Kings is getting in?

One is Vlade Divac, Sacramento’s general manager. Divac will get in as an international selection, Wojnarowski tweeted.

“Via the International Committee, Vlade Divac has been chosen for induction into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2019, sources tell ESPN,” he wrote. “He’s one of seven NBA players with 13K points, 9K rebounds, 3K assists and 1,500 blocks. Divac had a storied FIBA career.”

DIvac spent six seasons with the Kings and was an All-Star in 2000-01. Overall he averaged 11.8 points, 8.2 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.4 blocks in 16 NBA seasons.

For those who wonder why Divac is in but Webber is not, Wojnarowski explained in a tweet.

“Divac and Webber are finalists in different categories,” he wrote. “Webber, North American group; Divac, International. Every year, there’s one international inductee slotted into Springfield. Divac’s international résumé is Hall-worthy on its own — even if he never came to NBA.”

Webber, a former Kings forward who retired in 2008, was the No. 1 pick in the 1993 draft, a five-time All-Star, Rookie of the Year in 1993-94 and led the league in rebounding in 1998-99, his first season in Sacramento. He averaged 20.7 points, 9.8 rebounds and 4.2 assists in 15 seasons. Those numbers increased over 377 games and seven seasons with the Kings: 23.5 points, 10.6 rebounds and 4.8 assists.

If the reports are accurate, it looks like Webber will have to wait at least one more year.

Also getting in is Paul Westphal, according to Wojnarowski. As a coach he went 318-279 and took the Phoenix Suns to the NBA Finals in the 1992-93 season. He coached the Kings for two full seasons before being fired seven games into his third campaign, compiling a 51-120 record from 2009-11.

Westphal is going in as a player. He was a five-time All-Star, made the All-NBA first team three times and was on the Boston Celtics’ 1974 championship team. He averaged 15.6 points in 12 NBA seasons.

Others to be announced Saturday are Al Attles, Carl Braun, Chuck Cooper, Bill Fitch, Bobby Jones, Sidney Moncrief, Jack Sikma and Teresa Weatherspoon, according to NBA on ESPN.

The other finalists who reportedly aren’t getting the call this year are Hugh Evans (referee), Marques Johnson (player), Eddie Sutton (coach), Ben Wallace (player), Leta Andrews (coach) and Barbara Stevens (coach).

The Class of 2019 will be enshrined Sept. 5-7 in Springfield, Mass.

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Noel Harris is a sports reporter for The Sacramento Bee, with a focus on the Kings. He’s been in professional journalism for more than 18 years. His roles have included sports editor at The Modesto Bee and news editor at two smaller California newspapers, as well as online producer and copy editor.


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