Chris Webber is thriving far away from the spotlight after TNT split

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Chris Webber is all about the farm life for now.

A former prized high-school recruit, Webber later became a member of the University of Michigan’s famed Fab Five before embarking on a 15-season NBA career that led to his next role as a sportscaster.

Webber lived in the basketball spotlight and embodied his celebrity status for three straight decades.

Now, the 49-year-old lives on a farm in the greater Atlanta area with wife Erika Dates, whom he married in a private ceremony back in 2009, and their 4-year-old twins, a boy and a girl, who the couple welcomed in 2017 after trying to conceive for years.

“I’m going to give you the truth,” Webber told The Post in a recent interview. “I live on a farm, I fish, I have 4-year-old twins. I got to keep my energy up to keep up with them, like a homeschool dad sometimes, maybe. Sometimes if they listen to me, I teach the class, but really just [spending time with] family. My parents just celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. Just family, love and friends…

Chris Webber with wife Erika at an NBA All-Star event in 2012.
WireImage

“For me, off-the-court or out of the business room, I’m just trying to love my kids, my family, my wife, my home. And so just really trying to relax. Believe it or not — that’s one of the reasons I really didn’t want to commentate anymore. Since the age of 18, I’ve been on multiple flights per week and this was the first year I haven’t had to do that.”

Webber and TNT parted ways last May, when The Post’s Andrew Marchand reported the news on the eve of the NBA playoffs. Webber, who had been with TNT since 2008, was rumored to have had a messy departure from the network.

“When I tell you that I’ve gotten some rest and less anxiety from traveling. It’s worked well,” said Webber, who also has a significant stake in the burgeoning cannabis industry.

“So, staying at home with the family, getting on a tractor, cutting some grass and catching some fish, that’s what I do right now… [If I was still commentating] I wouldn’t be able to concentrate on my business ventures. I wouldn’t be able to be home for piano recitals and things like that, especially in the middle of the week.”

Throughout his career, Webber had stints with the Golden State Warriors, Washington Wizards, Sacramento Kings, Philadelphia 76ers, and Detroit Pistons. The Kings retired Webber’s No. 4 jersey in February 2009, and he was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2021.

Chris Webber makes a layup for the Michigan Wolverines in March 1993.
Chris Webber makes a layup for the Michigan Wolverines in March 1993.
Getty Images

As Webber takes this basketball pause, he is already focusing on a new role in the sport.

“I love basketball. I love sports. To work with TNT was a crazy opportunity and I felt I was pretty good at it. However, I really want to own a basketball team,” Webber said.

“I’m going to chase those goals and whether they happen and who cares, I’m going to chase them.”

Webber said that he “will probably do some more commentating,” but “the ultimate goal with all of this, whether it is cannabis or NFTs, and other [sports ventures] is to put myself in a position to be able to purchase a sports team and have a true representation of what the players look like in the league and to be able to be an owner in that.

“Meeting great, wonderful people and just learning so much and then seeing how people work hard and how they reach goals is just something that I’m just chasing and know it could be easier to stay and do other things. But if you’re not satisfied, why not just keep on shooting the shot and working as hard as you can? And so, yeah, I love sports and you know, whether it’s basketball, MLS, soccer or something else, you’re going to see me as an owner in a box one day, I hope.”

Chris Webber shoots the ball during a Washington-Sacramento game in December 1996.
Chris Webber shoots the ball during a Washington-Sacramento game in December 1996.
NBAE via Getty Images

Webber isn’t opposed to potentially owning a team in the WNBA or a league outside basketball.

“I think obviously basketball is what I know the most, but in the business of sport, there’s some other situations where you could put the correct people in to do [various jobs]. I love sports and I’m just going to make sure I keep that as my ultimate radar,” the five-time NBA All-Star said.

Although ownership dreams are at the top of his list, Webber is focused on his other business ventures, which includes Webber Wellness, the parent company through which he runs his cannabis business.

Webber started his cannabis brand, Players Only, in 2015, with his business partner, Levetta Willis, a cannabis investor.

In Sept. 2021, Webber announced the launch of a $50 million cannabis facility in Detroit, telling Forbes that Players Only will transform a nine-acre industrial site into the Webber Wellness Conservatory. Webber said the move was the first phase of what will become a $175 million investment in Detroit.

Chris Webber calls a game between the Los Angeles Clippers and Portland Trailblazers in November 2019.
Chris Webber calls a game between the Los Angeles Clippers and Portland Trailblazers in November 2019.
Getty Images

Webber also partnered with Jason Wild, a former pharmacist turned cannabis investor and CEO of Terrascend, to launch a $100 million private equity fund focused on investing in companies led by entrepreneurs of color.

As for his own cannabis use? Webber still uses cannabis for pain management after years of stress and impact on his body during his lengthy NBA career. Webber said he began using cannabis at the age of 29 after suffering a knee injury during the 2003 Western Conference semifinals, when his Kings played the Mavericks. After undergoing surgery, a doctor suggested he try medical marijuana.

Elsewhere, Webber said he is still in the business of acting and is actively reading scripts following an appearance in the 2018 sports comedy “Uncle Drew,” which also featured Kyrie Irving.

“I’ve just been accepted for a role,” Webber divulged, adding that he is unable to discuss the gig at this time. “Everything is energy… I think a lot of it is just being open to trying certain things and doing your best.”

Although Webber has slowed down certain aspects of his life, his business ventures are speeding up. He was named president of Coinllectibles Sports in March, and in the role, Webber will oversee the implementation of the organization’s mission to better connect fans, athletes and entertainers through technology.

Chris Webber poses with the Hall of Fame Trophy after the 2021 Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony in September 2021.
Chris Webber poses with the Hall of Fame Trophy after the 2021 Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony in September 2021.
NBAE via Getty Images

Webber is also set to launch a personal NFT collection through Coinllectibles, which will pay homage to his time as a member of the Fab Five and more.

“I’m sharing my journey with the fans. And so that starts with a bunch of really great stuff and memorabilia that I have from my days at Michigan, and things that mean a lot to me,” he said.

“For me, it was just a journey of perseverance. The lowest of lows was perseverance that was falling down and getting back up — and it was also being grateful that, from [ages] 18 to 20, [the Fab Five] have such an impact on the world sports world.”





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