WEBBER'S NEXT MOVE: RETIREMENT OR KNICKS
By MARC BERMAN
April 10, 2007 -- Chris Webber told The Post last night he could see himself retiring if he wins his first NBA title with the Pistons this June.
If he doesn't retire, Webber, 34, likely will give the Knicks another chance since he again becomes a free agent, according to a source close to C-Webb.
Webber revealed before facing the Knicks last night he tried to force a trade last summer to New York. The Knicks pursued Webber when he was bought out of his Philly contract in December, but Webber opted for his hometown, Detroit.
"This summer I definitely wanted to come here (to New York), really tried to ask my agents to make things work when I was in Philadelphia," Webber said. "It wasn't working out. With the opportunity to come here (to Detroit), it was a no-brainer. This was the better team and I needed a chance to win a championship."
Asked about his summer free agency, Webber said, "I'm not really looking at this summer. Looking at seeing if I can win a championship right now. Not thinking of next year. If I win one, I just might disappear. You know what I'm saying."
Asked if he meant disappear as in retire, Webber said, "I got to win a championship this year and I might then disappear. I don't even know."
Last summer, the Sixers offered Webber to the Knicks, but Isiah Thomas wasn't willing to take on a ton of payroll. Thomas' offer to the Sixers was weak - centered on Quentin Richardson and Malik Rose. Philly preferred to buy Webber out than take on those contracts. Thomas was hot and heavy for Webber in January because of the cheap price tag - a $1 million veteran's minimum.
This summer C-Webb will not come as cheaply - likely for a large portion of the $5 million mid-level exception. Thomas is extremely close with the Goodwin brothers who represent Webber. Asked about Webber's long-term future in Detroit, Pistons coach Flip Saunders said, "I can't even talk about that. You'll get me in trouble with the league."
Stephon Marbury missed his second straight game last night and will miss tonight's match in Chicago with turf toe. According to a confidant of Marbury's, it doesn't look good for Friday at New Jersey either. Thomas still was hoping to get his point guard back soon. "I'm hoping by the end of the week," Thomas said.