With the confusing series of Boston moves today that turned their front line from one of the league’s best to a question mark, a lot of people in Boston are asking what Danny Ainge has up his sleeve. They are asking:
What about Rasheed Wallace?
He walked away after the NBA finals Game 7 last season — a game in which he was one of the best players for Boston — but he never moved out of Boston. He didn’t want to put up with the rigors of a full NBA season, but if it was just 20-something games and the playoffs….
But Sheed told Larry Ridley, sports anchor at the NBC 7 affiliate in Boston, that he “gave 15 years” to the NBA was not coming back. At all.
So Celtics fans, set your sights on Troy Murphy. Then light some candles in church and say some prayers for Shaq’s health.
Rasheed Wallace is going to be like Elvis this year. Jim Morrison. Tupac.
He will not be dead and there will be sightings of him — and the return of his career — all over the place. Particularly Boston, as Sheed will still be living in the city.
The first one of those came from Paul Pierce, who had Sheed at his youth camp, as reported by Sherrod Blakely at Comcast New England:
You can count Pierce among those who thinks a Wallace return to the Celtics will happen sometime prior to the playoffs, despite Wallace insisting that he’s done playing.
“I told him, ‘Go ahead, do all you need to do,’ ” Pierce said. ” ‘Take the kids everywhere. We’ll see you in February.’ “
Maybe Pierce was joking, but Sheed was serious. From that same article.
When asked by CSNNE.com about whether his NBA career was indeed wrapped up, Wallace responded, “Like Christmas.”
Don’t you unwrap presents on Christmas? So…
No trade. No return. Both teams played hard, my man. Both teams played hard.
But Rasheed Wallace is done.
This afternoon the Boston Celtics waived Rasheed Wallace, clearing the way for his retirement.
Sheed was drafted by the Washington Bullets with the No. 4 pick overall out of North Carolina in 1995. Over 15 NBA seasons he averaged 14.6 points and 6.7 rebounds per game, a big man with range. He had a career PER of 17.0, was a four-time All Star (most recently 2008).
He was at the heart of the 2004 Detroit Pistons title team.
More than that, he will be remembered for being a guy who played the game with real passion, with his heart on his sleeve. That led to countless technical fouls, conversations with referees and jawing matches with opposing players.
He was the quintessential guy you hated if he was on the other team and loved him if he was on yours. The league needs more guys with that passion. He will be missed.