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Living on the farm, weed business

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Chris Webber is all about life on the farm for now.

A former prized high school recruit, Webber later became a member of the famed University of Michigan Fab Five before embarking on a 15-season NBA career that led to his next role as a sportscaster.

Webber lived in the basketball spotlight and embodied his celebrity status for three decades in a row.

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Now the 49-year-old lives on a farm in metro Atlanta with his wife Erika Dates, whom he married in a private ceremony in 2009, and their 4-year-old twins, a boy and a girl, who the couple welcomed in 2017 after trying to conceive for years.

“I’m going to tell you the truth,” Webber told The Post in a recent interview. “I live on a farm, I fish, I have 4-year-old twins. I have to keep my energy up to keep up with them, like a homeschooling parent sometimes maybe. Sometimes, if you listen to me, I teach the class, but really I just [spending time with] family. My parents just celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. Just family, love and friends…

Chris Webber with his wife Erika at an NBA All-Star event in 2012.
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“For me, off the court or off the business floor, I’m just trying to love my kids, my family, my wife, my home. And so I’m really trying to relax. Believe it or not, that’s one of the reasons I really didn’t want to comment further. Since I was 18, I’ve been on multiple flights a week and this was the first year I didn’t have to do that.”

Webber and TNT parted ways last May, when The Post’s Andrew Marchand reported the news on the eve of the NBA playoffs. Webber, who had been with TNT since 2008, was rumored to have had a disorderly exit from the network.

“When I tell you that I have rested a little and less anxiety about traveling. It has worked well,” said Webber, who also has a significant stake in the burgeoning cannabis industry.

“So staying home with the family, getting on a tractor, mowing some grass and fishing, that’s what I’m doing right now… [If I was still commentating] I wouldn’t be able to concentrate on my business. I couldn’t be home for piano recitals and stuff like that, especially in the middle of the week.”

Throughout his career, Webber played for the Golden State Warriors, Washington Wizards, Sacramento Kings, Philadelphia 76ers and Detroit Pistons. The Kings retired Webber’s number 4 jersey in February 2009 and he was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2021.

Chris Webber makes a layup for the Michigan Wolverines in March 1993.
Chris Webber makes a layup for the Michigan Wolverines in March 1993.
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As Webber takes this hiatus from basketball, he is already focusing on a new role in the sport.

“I love basketball. I love sports. Working with TNT was a crazy opportunity and I felt like I was pretty good at it. I really want to have a basketball team though,” Webber said.

“I’m going to go after those goals and if they happen and who cares, I’m going to go after them.”

Webber said he will “probably have a few more comments,” but “the end goal of all of this, whether it’s cannabis or NFTs, and other [sports ventures] it’s putting me in a position to be able to buy a sports team and have a real representation of what the players look like in the league and be able to own that.

“Meeting great and wonderful people and just learning a lot and then seeing people work hard and achieve their goals is something that I’m pursuing and I know it might be easier to stay and do other things. But if you’re not satisfied, why don’t you keep shooting and working as hard as you can? So yeah, I love sports and whether it’s basketball, MLS, soccer or something else, one day they’ll see me as an owner in a box, I hope.”

Chris Webber shoots the ball during a Washington-Sacramento game in December 1996.
Chris Webber shoots the ball during a Washington-Sacramento game in December 1996.
NBAE via Getty Images

Webber isn’t opposed to the prospect of owning a team in the WNBA or a league outside of basketball.

“Obviously, I think basketball is what I know the most, but in the business of sports, there are other situations where you could put the right people to do [various jobs]. I love sports and I will make sure to keep that as my last radar,” the five-time NBA All-Star said.

Though dreams of ownership are high on his list, Webber is focused on his other business ventures, which include Webber Wellness, the parent company through which he runs his cannabis business.

Webber started his cannabis brand, Players Only, in 2015 with his business partner, Levetta Willis, a cannabis investor.

In September 2021, Webber announced the launch of a $50 million cannabis facility in Detroit, telling Forbes that Players Only will transform a nine-acre industrial site into the Webber Wellness Conservatory. Webber said the move was the first phase of what will become a $175 million investment in Detroit.

Chris Webber calls a game between the Los Angeles Clippers and the Portland Trailblazers in November 2019.
Chris Webber calls a game between the Los Angeles Clippers and the Portland Trailblazers in November 2019.
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Webber has also partnered with Jason Wild, a former pharmacist-turned-cannabis investor and CEO of Terrascend, to launch a $100 million private equity fund focused on investing in companies run by entrepreneurs of color.

As for your own cannabis use? Webber still uses cannabis for pain control after years of stress and impact on his body during his long NBA career. Webber said he began using cannabis at the age of 29 after suffering a knee injury during the 2003 Western Conference semifinals when his Kings played the Mavericks. After undergoing surgery, a doctor suggested that he try medical marijuana.

Elsewhere, Webber said he’s still in the acting business and actively reading scripts following an appearance in the 2018 sports comedy “Uncle Drew,” which also featured Kyrie Irving.

“I just got accepted for a role,” Webber divulged, adding that he can’t talk about the job right now. “It’s all energy… I think a lot of it is just being open to trying certain things and doing your best.”

Although Webber has slowed down certain aspects of his life, his businesses are picking up speed. He was named president of Coinclectibles Sports in March, and in the role, Webber will oversee the implementation of the organization’s mission to better connect fans, athletes and artists through technology.

Chris Webber poses with the Hall of Fame Trophy after the 2021 Basketball Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in September 2021.
Chris Webber poses with the Hall of Fame Trophy after the 2021 Basketball Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in September 2021.
NBAE via Getty Images

Webber is also set to release a personal collection of NFTs through Coinllectibles, which will pay tribute to his time as a member of the Fab Five and more.

“I am sharing my journey with the fans. And that starts with a lot of really cool things and memories that I have from my Michigan days, and things that mean a lot to me,” she said.

“For me, it was just a journey of perseverance. The lowest of the lows was the perseverance that fell and got up again, and he too was thankful that since [ages] 18 to 20, [the Fab Five] have such a big impact on the world of global sport.”

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