MIAMI -- Chris Webber and Philadelphia 76ers coach Jim O'Brien met Monday to clear the air about Webber's lack of playing
time two days earlier against Atlanta.
Webber, recently acquired from Sacramento, played 28 minutes in
Philadelphia's 98-97 win over Atlanta. He came out with 3:38 left
in the third quarter, returned with 3:43 left in the fourth and
scored four late points to help the 76ers pull out the win.
"Chris has a lot of confidence in himself. He knows what he can
bring to the table," O'Brien said. "I have a number of reasons
why I do what I do from the standpoint of playing guys a certain
amount of minutes. ... I didn't know it was going to be an issue.
It bothered him. So I dealt with it."
Webber is averaging 31.8 minutes in his first six games with
Philadelphia after averaging 36.3 minutes in 46 games for the Kings
earlier this season.
Webber said the shock of the trade had worn off, and insisted
that he was only aiming at helping the 76ers find their way to the
Eastern Conference playoffs. Philadelphia lost 108-100 to Miami on
Monday night, falling a half-game behind Indiana for the eighth and
final postseason spot.
Webber scored 10 points in 26 minutes on Monday night. He's
averaging 15.5 points and 8.5 rebounds in his first six games with
Philadelphia; he averaged 21.3 points and 9.7 rebounds with the
"Nobody is more disappointed than I am," Webber said after
Monday night's game. "How can you go from averaging what I did to
not being able to do it is beyond me. But I'll deal with that stuff
later. Right now I'm trying to keep team goals in mind."
If Webber has problems, O'Brien said, he'd rather have them
voiced than fester.
"Every relationship that I've ever been involved with that has
been a good relationship is always based on communication,"
O'Brien said. "Good communication never fails. It takes a while
for a player and a coach to develop a relationship."
For his part, Webber said he believes he and his new teammates
are starting to come together.
"There's a little more of a comfort zone," Webber said.
"Playing in a new environment, you know, is always different for
everybody. If we do what's expected, make a push and get into the
playoffs, then we'll be fine. That's my goal."