A surprise Chris Webber event in New York City afforded Kings.com’s Fan Correspondent Alex Kramers a once-in-a-lifetime meeting.
Ever since I was a little kid, whenever the Sacramento Kings would be in town to play the local N.J.Nets or neighboring N.Y. Knicks, my dad and I made sure on at least one of those nights, nothing would get in the way of an annual trip to see our favorite team in action.
In March 2002, I was as excited as I’d ever been for a Kings-Knicks game since Sacramento was sporting a League-best 46-17 record. But as we boarded the train to Madison Square Garden, my mood quickly dampened when I found out my favorite player at the time, Chris Webber, wasn’t going to suit up for the contest.
As if to spite me, someone left a copy of the New York Post right in my seat opened to a page with a now-outdated game preview. Just as I was about to toss it away, an advertisement at the bottom of the page caught my eye. I reread it several times to make sure my eyes weren’t deceiving me – call it luck or good fortune, but it stated that Webber would be at a store in midtown New York for an autograph signing the next day.
Anxious to meet a Kings player for the first time, I made sure to secure a spot in line early the following morning, proudly wearing my black No. 4 jersey and carrying a full assortment of team memorabilia.
When I finally made it to the front, Webber shook my hand as I told him I was honored to meet him and congratulated him on his third consecutive All-Star selection. He smiled and thanked me, and although the fans were told he’d sign only one item per person, he autographed my basketball card, SLAM magazine and jersey. It’s a moment I’ll always treasure, and all three signed items are proudly displayed in my house, while the fortuitous newspaper clipping is stored with my most-prized Kings collectibles.