Tuesday , Jun , 29 , 2010 J.N.

Show some appreciation for Rasheed Wallace!

“Both teams played hard.” That’s the meme that Raw Sheed created that stuck through the minds of basketball junkies who needed laughs. It’s not quite the classic “Practice?” from Allen Iverson, but Rasheed was the master of basketball memes. He also brought the “Ball Don’t Lie” meme, too. When he has two memorable phrases dedicated to him, Rasheed Wallace transcended into immortality. Then again, Wallace has brought more entertainment than many NBA players through the years. He was almost like Terrell Owens and John McEnroe combined with a bald spot on the top of his head.

I can easily post up statistics and what not, but that does not capture what Raw Sheed was all about. His career averages do not look impressive anyway so the numbers are not worth bragging about. They were good enough to be a 4 time All Star. Ultimately, he’s a people person. He is the people’s underrated champion of “what could have been.”  He could have been a Hall of Famer.

He was part of the 2000 Portland “Jail” Blazers that fell apart in game 7 of the Western Conference Finals against Shaq’s Lakers.

Wallace got a championship with the 2004 Detroit Pistons dominating the Los Angeles Lakers featuring Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant, and senior citizen ring chasers Karl Malone and Gary Payton. Wallace provided solid defense and All Star caliber play. He played one game for the Atlanta Hawks getting 20 points and 5 blocks.

He came into the league with a temper usually leading the league in technical fouls. People thought that with age, Rasheed can lower that down with maturity. They were wrong. He kept it real. He stayed true to himself. Wallace did not give a shit about anything. Let’s appreciate that, but that quality was also a detriment to his potential and overall game.

Analysts would talk about his skills. The big man can do everything. He had handles, 3 point shot, post up game, defense, and size. Raw Sheed had the tools to do anything he wanted on the basketball court. He just didn’t evolve his “don’t give a shit” attitude to “I don’t give a shit about you. I will kill you every time on any court every night.” That was the problem. Hardcore fans and basketball pros such as Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith would discuss this stuff. It’s true. Wallace had everything except the killer in him.

As he exited the Staples Center after losing game 7 to Kobe’s Lakers, Wallace went straight for the referees. He tried to enter the ref’s room because he wanted to talk, but security put a stop to that. Reportedly he put on shades and went straight to the bus still drenched with sweat in Boston Celtic gear. Wallace was that mad. Rasheed let the temper get the best of him. Once again, he stayed true to his reputation of being a hot head. Nothing changed.  The action was not classy. Who cares right? It’s a passionate game with tremendous stakes on the line.

Rasheed Wallace reminded the world that he is as bit as passionate as the game as he entered and left it. Nothing changed.

[image credit]

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