If you weren’t a Detroit-based basketball fan in 1993, you probably missed this amazing Chris Webber interview with the American Black Journal’s Cliff Russell.
Webber — every bit as articulate here as he would be on NBA TV years later — takes on racial issues with nuance and tact that defy his age. Discussing the media’s tendency to describe black players as “talented” versus white players as “hard-working,” the lack of black fans at U-M, and feelings of inferiority growing up as an underprivileged minority, C-Webb unflinchingly makes his case for chillest-and-most-conscientious-20-year-old ever.
As the journal notes, in retrospect, the interview is loaded with irony. Webber stops just short of committing to staying at U-M for his junior year — five months later he was playing for the Warriors. And he argues here for allowing college players to receive financial benefits, only to later be accused of receiving over $200,000 in illegal loans in the University of Michigan basketball scandal. Both understandable mistakes, in this author’s opinion, but they certainly add an interesting twist to the innocence and sincerity Webber seems to effortlessly convey.
All told, this is a must-see portrait of one of the most compelling ballers of our generation.