Rasheed Wallace’s temper distracted from the rest of his game. Few saw his advanced post moves, perfect defensive positioning (Game 5 of the 2005 Finals aside) and deft passing.
Rather, most just focused on the technical fouls – though, to be fair, there were a lot of technical fouls.
But Pistons general manager Joe Dumars and new Detroit coach Maurice Cheeks, who coached Wallace in Portland, saw the wise side of Sheed.
Vincent Goodwill of The Detroit News:
It hasn’t been announced, but former Piston Rasheed Wallace will join the Pistons’ coaching staff this season.
Wallace strolled into the Amway Center wearing a polo shirt with the Pistons’ team logo on Monday
The Pistons are playing summer league in Orlando, where Wallace was on the Pistons sideline today talking with the team’s young players during their game against the Celtics. I have zero doubt he can dispense helpful advice in that role.
But being an NBA assistant coach is a ton of work, and though Dumars has said he discussed the grind with Wallace, there’s no way of knowing how Wallace will handle it throughout an 82-game season. Going from playing to coaching is an adjustment, and Sheed must also learn how his role in the locker room will change.
At least he’ll be going through this process as an assistant for a team with only playoff aspirations, not in the pressure-packed situation of being the head coach of a contender, like his Knicks teammate last season is doing.
Tonight the NBA All-Star Game starters will be announced. Then the coaches have a week to vote and the rest of the roster will be put together by them.
This year should see a few first-time All-Stars, guys bursting on the scene and grabbing fans attention — so we asked people on Twitter who they most wanted to see in his first All-Star Game and I break it down in this PBT Extra.
The winner? Giannis Antetokounmpo with 45 percent of the vote. Which shouldn’t be a surprise, he’s second in the fan voting for the frontcourt in the East (behind only LeBron James). Good news for those fans, the Greek Freak is almost guaranteed to be a starter, he’s getting plenty of media votes and likely a lot from the players as well.
Second place in the poll? Joel Embiid of the Sixers. I’d love to see him, but will players and media members vote in a guy on a minutes restriction? Will the coaches pick him for that same reason? He is on the bubble.
Did Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant talk during the Warriors’ win over the Thunder last night? Westbrook said no, though video and first-hand accounts indicate otherwise.
Even more clearly: Westbrook – who walked near teammates Enes Kanter, Anthony Morrow and Jerami Grant – didn’t want someone talking to someone as they left the floor after the game. ESPN caught Westbrook saying, “Don’t say what’s up to that b— a—.”
You will never convince anyone Westbrook is referring to anyone but Durant.
Between getting laid out by Zaza Pachulia and apparently talking with Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook committed a travel for the ages.
The Thunder guard took an inbound pass against the Warriors and just started walking up court without dribbling. The violation was so blatant, NBA officials even called the travel.
And it’s not as if they’re inclined to blow a whistle in that situation. Before Westbrook, Kemba Walker set a high bar last season, but he got away with this walk:
Russell Westbrook deleted Kevin Durant‘s goodbye text and, months later, told the whole world they still hadn’t talked.
That apparently changed during the Warriors’ win over the Thunder yesterday – though not if you ask Westbrook.
Westbrook dunked in the third quarter, and according to ESPN commentator Mark Jackson, Westbrook told Durant, “Don’t jump.” Anthony Slater of The Mercury News also wrote of the same quote.
ESPN’s telecast caught Durant clearly speaking to Westbrook shortly after. It appears Westbrook is talking back, but his back is to the camera.
After the game, Westbrook denied the exchange:
- Reporter: “Are you and KD on speaking terms?”
- Westbrook: “Nah.”
- Reporter: “You guys had a little exchange in the third quarter.”
- Westbrook: “What exchange?”
- Reporter: “You and KD said something to each other.”
- Westbrook: “Oh. You gotta maybe sit closer to the game. You maybe didn’t see clearly.”
This is so Westbrook – stubborn to the point of denying reality.
That approach worked for him when everyone rightly told him he was a significantly lesser player than Durant. Westbrook ignored that fact until it became false.
I suspect he wants to forget this exchange so he can maintain a cold animosity toward someone he prefers to resent.