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The Endorsement: Chris Webber, Studio Analyst

Caught some of the TNT crew last night prior to the Heat-Hawks. The Jet, Barkley and C Webb – sporting a hirsute upper lip; new? – were talking about the 76ers, and Dwight’s elbow, and the first thing that came to mind: Man, Webber is a damn good analyst. We’ve briefly touched on this topic in the comments during the playoffs, but C-Webb’s quickly becoming one of the top NBA analysts on TV. His delivery is as smooth as his game was at Michigan and in the pros – effortless and reasoned, and he’s brutally honest without embarrassing people. He doesn’t get all x’s and o’s, and we never hear him pull punches, even though he’s clearly friends with some of the players.

Wish we could remember exactly what he said about the Pistons last week, but it was along the lines of: ‘I played with these guys, and I’m friendly with a lot of them, but damn, they rolled over, and that was sad to watch.’ We got the sense that nobody in that locker room would approach C-Webb in a week or a month and get in his face about the criticism. Because it was accurate.

Even though Magic’s our all-time favorite basketball player, he’s just too nice as an analyst. He never seems to get worked up, and sometimes, passion can be a good thing. (Not canned passion, like what Stephen A. Smith has displayed for years.)

Greg Anthony used to be pretty good on the NBA; Tim Legler’s OK. Jalen Rose seems to have potential, but there’s something about him that screams “I’m better than you.” He’s a bit cocky. Barkley’s very, very good, and the Jet’s pretty solid too. Webber got some props from fans last year; even Bill Simmons liked his work. Give Webber another year or two. He could slide into Barkley’s spot if Sir Charles follows thought on his Alabama political dreams.

[Some of this wanton lust could stem from the fact that we’ve long been fans of Webber. It’s sad, but we can remember some of his memorable college games from 18 years ago. He’s always just seemed like a cool guy. Remember how George Costanza thought Dan Cortes was a cool guy? That’s how we feel about Webber.]

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