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Injury forces Webber to end long career

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28.MAR.08

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Five-time All-Star Chris Webber retired Wednesday due to a chronic knee injury that had hampered him throughout much of his 15-year NBA career.{{more}}

“People say you’ve got go to until the wheels fall off,” Webber told a news conference in Oakland. “Well, my wheel fell off. I went all the way until the end so I’m happy with that.”

The 35-year-old Webber entered the NBA as the number one overall pick in the 1993 Draft by the Orlando Magic, who traded his rights to the Golden State Warriors.

He played for five teams in his career and ended up calling it quits while a member of the Warriors, who signed the versatile forward on January 29.

Webber played only nine games during his second stint with the Warriors, averaging just 3.9 points per game before being sidelined with a nagging injury to his left knee.

“Rehab is so hard,” he said. “So monotonous, so boring. I really didn’t want to try to rehab and come back this season because I don’t think that’s possible.

“I just felt it was time to let the game go and to be happy with what I accomplished without trying to keep come back.”

Webber, who also played for the Washington, Sacramento, Philadelphia and Detroit, averaged 20.7 points, 9.8 rebounds and 4.2 assists over his career.

The 6-foot-9 Webber said he leaves Golden State in good shape. The Warriors are 43-27 and in the eighth place in the Western Conference, clinging to the final playoff spot.

“The chemistry is great with these guys,” said Webber, who led the NBA in rebounding in 1999 with a 13.0 average.

“They’re already on a roll. I feel they’re going to win and have a chance to go very far into the playoffs.”

Webber, who never won a title, said he hoped to continue working with the NBA in some capacity.

“I never thought I would have been able to play 15 years in the NBA,” he said. “I got to play against some of my idols. It’s been a great ride.”

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