The end of the Kings?

Updated: May 20, 2004, 5:25 PM ET
By Chad Ford | NBA Insider
In and out.

It's the story of Chris Webber's career. He has the pedigree. The smile. The good looks. He says all the right things. His game is pretty. So was the 3-pointer he took as the buzzer sounded on the Sacramento Kings' season Wednesday night.

The ball rattled in and out. The Kings (once again) are dead. The fingers (once again) are pointing C-Webb's direction.

"I definitely thought the last shot was good," Webber told reporters after Minnesota beat Sacramento, 83-80, in Game 7 of their semifinal series. "It did everything but go in."

That, in essence, is the story of the Kings and Webber. They do everything but win Game 7s.

How will Webber and the Kings respond to yet another season of disappointment? Will they circle the wagons and claim a few bad breaks and one bad injury (this year to sixth-man Bobby Jackson) robbed them of their throne?

Or will owners Joe and Gavin Maloof and GM Geoff Petrie decide it's time to lay this version of the Kings to rest and start over?

Either way, the answer starts with Webber. Can Webber overcome the worst season of his professional career to lead the Kings on a revenge tour next year? Or has the injury- and scandal-ridden star worn out his welcome in Sacramento? Here's a look at what to expect, as Insider continues its summer blueprint series.

Chad Ford

ESPN Senior Writer