Forward 'shocked' by negative fan reaction
Webber has officially downplayed negative fan reaction, but he has told those close to him that he is hurt by it, reported The Sacramento Bee in Sunday's editions.
Since returning from a knee injury he suffered in the 2003 playoffs and from an eight-game suspension leveled by the NBA, Webber has faced booing fans twice in six recent home games.
The five-time All-Star has said he'd rather stay focused on pushing toward this season's playoffs, but the Bee reports that Webber is troubled by the "boobirds" more than he has acknowledged.
He recently told reporters that the negative reaction "definitely changes my focus, my outlook," reports the newspaper. "I'm very disappointed. And I'm shocked," said Webber.
According to the Bee, those close to the Kings co-captain say Webber has expressed hurt and anger about fans seeming to turn on him. Sources told the newspaper that if the hostile treatment continues, Webber may consider playing elsewhere. First on his mind, sources say, is discussing the situation with Kings president of basketball operations Geoff Petrie or owners Joe and Gavin Maloof after the season is over. Webber has not yet voiced a desire to be traded.
Since returning from his lay-off, Webber is averaging over 18 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists per game, and shooting 41.3 percent from the field.
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